I was attracted to this as it struck me as something in the vein of Carlos Ruiz Zafon, with his broad sweeping "magical realism" stories. I have to say I am not disappointed, although I have to agree with some of the other criticisms, particularly the Americanisms. I don't agree with the overuse of adjectives & adverbs, as I love the descriptive use of language, and the way it gives a sense of time and place, something that is essential in a story like this. I will say that while I enjoyed the book, it isn't quite up to the incredible standards of CRZ, but it is not a book to pass by. I will check out more by Mr Doerr, on the strength of this.