This is a book about tennis. This is a book about drug addiction and recovery. This is a book about math, engineering and especially optics. This is a wild political satire in which the US turns most of New England and upstate New York into a toxic dump and then cedes the whole mess to Canada as part of a new North American “Interdependence” treaty. This is a send up of the advertising business in which ad revenues fall so sharply that the government replaces the current Gregorian calendar with a calendar, which – like the names of baseball parks – are sold for product promotion (most of the story takes place in The Year Of The Depend Adult Undergarment.) This is a dark apocalyptic look at the future of the entertainment industry in which the complex alcoholic father of the stories hero (if there is one) and a sexy, drug obsessed late night talk show host produce a piece of media that is so amazing that anyone who watches it dies of pure pleasure. The threat to the survival of humanity is obvious.
This is one of the longest, most complex, most unorthodox, funniest, most brilliant, most self indulgent, amazingly entertaining, astoundingly boring, novels ever written. It is indeed worth the pleasure of reading… if you have the stamina. My feeling that the audio book is far easier to get through than the text though it takes longer to listen to than to read.