For the first hundred pages or so, I couldn't decide whether I liked this book or not. It's the tone, not that anyone mentions that sort of thing outside the classroom. I kept thinking about some poor translator trying to render this book into Russian or Swahili or something, and what a bugger all time of it she would have. Cheeky Britishisms, silly names, referents to historical events that didn't happen, or certainly didn't happen that way.
By midway, I was having a ball. I mean, the People's Republic of Wales? Richard III being staged like Rocky Horror? Surrealists rioting on the anniversary of their legalization? Hai-larious. In all of the silliness, however, lurks the satisfying vision of a world where books and their ideas are important, tangible, like they are to nerds like me who read too much.