After an incredibly long streak of reading great books and enjoying them all, there was bound to be an end to it all. And with this book the end came quickly and severely. I could not keep up with the amount of times I said to myself that I was not going to pick this up again and abandon it, but then a line of absolute beauty would rise from the page enough to knock me clear on my ass and force me to rethink the whole thing. One of these quotes: "More than baseball and the cooking, more even than the religion that blessed the Judaist congregations, the light was the binding ingredient of the place, like water in bread dough. It was the spirit of Brooklyn"So I wound up slogging though this, the whole thing, like the one might slog thought he marshlands & fens of the northern English coast where much of this story takes place. Hall employs very dense prose. I saw shadows of Henry James here, but without the deft narrative skills he employs to go along with it.It would literally take me two hours to read 30-35 pages of this.That is not okay.One more thing on the plus side, is when the action finally gets to Coney Island -- why I opted to pick up the book, it does read quite a bit faster. The secondary characters burst forth with a sense of life that the English ones could only wish for. And while this may have been done on purpose narratively, it did not make for enjoyable reading.