is more of a meditation on happiness than a novel. I found myself disliking it, which is a shame, because it came highly recommended.
I didn't dislike it because I thought it pretentious - I didn't as such; I believe every word was sincerely meant and mostly intended to be descriptive and illustrative rather than make the author look good. Nor did I dislike it because I disagreed with it - many descriptions and observations I in fact agreed with, though not necessarily with the conclusions drawn.
I think the problem was just that it wasn't a very good novel and the insight wasn't radical enough to make up for it. The characters were types selected as test subjects for the experiment of poetical transformation, and the two who emerge triumphant in the end smack too much of the avatar and fantasy, the god we are to identify with and the goddess we are to desire. Godhead should never be obvious or confined to the hero and/or heroine; it should find its best expression in those characters who feel real, who we could argue with, dislike or laugh with, and most of all, to recognize.
In conclusion, I felt a little preached to. Show, sir, don't just tell.