I know this book is beloved by many, so I won't argue the point, I'll just record my personal reaction. There were lots of things I liked about the book. The characters, the story, even the idea of faith that is discussed. I just don't like the writing, and I don't like the narrator. It's a style thing -- I'm not saying he's a bad writer. I haven't read other Irving books, but I felt like I had a nose ring inserted and he was leading me around in circles by it, dragging me along. He told and retold stories, letting just one more detail shine this time. I don't like mysteries in which I can figure everything out way ahead of the narrator, and I didn't like this book for the same reason. It felt like Irving didn't trust me as a reader. After taking a step back from it, I reasoned that if anyone tried to tell an oral story the way this one is told, we would all throttle him before he got halfway through. Yeah, I got it, so finish it already!