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I took a long time to read this book - for one thing it isn't a novel so it's not a turn-the-page-to-get-to-the-next-one-in-eagerness type of read; for another, it's a little dull. It tries its best to be amusing as well as interesting, but it doesn't quite make it. I'm trying to figure out just what it is, but am not sure I can put my finger on it. Perhaps it's the school-teacherly writing style ... I think I would have liked more illustrations as well, and maps placing the cities/towns.