Just listen to the first sentence: if it intrigues you, listen on, but if it puts you off, you probably want to pick up a different book. I read this book in print form twice in a summer and have listened to the audiobook several times since. Furst has a special talent for capturing this particular time period and a real knack for examining the subtle effects of nationalism and history on individuals. He doesn't spare any of his characters; the lucky ones survive with very deep scars. But there's mirth here, too, and an appreciation for the potential for joy in the midst of dark times. He's made a bit of a career out of writing in this universe but, with the exception of Dark Star, I'm not sure any of the follow-ups packs quite the same punch. George Guidall is a perfect voice who really knows how to relish the sly ironies that Furst packs into his novels. This was the first recording of Guidall's I've listened to and he instantly became my favorite. Highly recommended.