If this review was AFOTW, it would be 1500 words long and mention books I’d read as a lad, books my uncle read, and books I might read in the future. At 700 pages, you could say this novel is a ramble, and sustaining the tone and pace over that length is challenging, to say the least, says he who’s never attempted writing a novel. AFOTW has some charming and not so charming characters, and a whole lot of earthy Australian humor and turn of phase, which I enjoyed immensely. Toltz wields a metaphor like a man that really knows his way to the loo in the dark (see what I did there?). Unfortunately, I thought large chunks of the text did nothing to drive the plot along, and having just been burnt by A Man In Full, I like a plot that’s driven along. I greatly admire the ambition and humanity in AFOTW, but would have appreciated a thorough edit.