This was one of the most difficult books I have read in a long time. Reviewers have called it "epic," "magestic" and a collection of countless other platitudes. After reading it, my opinion is that while it is all these things, and while David Mitchell has achieved something momentous with this work, it was not as compelling for me as I imagined. Mitchell covered vast ground and as a piece of historical fiction, he recreated a time and a place richly. He is working at three different levels and they all play out effectively. His use of language is commendable. Despite all these things, I wasn't moved, engaged, or attached to this book. Reading it felt like a chore and finishing it an accomplishment, despite it being a thoroughly brilliant work.