This book is definitely a Great American Novel. I found myself staying up really late, unable to stop myself from devouring the story, and that's saying a lot (usually a book is a surefire way to put me right to sleep). But the characters in this one just called to me to keep reading (not because I loved them or hated them; I just really, really felt them). And their desperate pursuit of Bay Area real estate was something I could really relate to. Unfortunately, it is a sad and depressing tale (perhaps because it involves Bay Area real estate) but it's definitely an amazing study of human nature. I wonder if they cheered it up for the movie version.