The final four pages blew me away. If you don't read this book see if you can download a copy of the ending at least. It was by far the most heartfelt part of this book and I have not read a more fabulous ending in a long time though some parts in the middle slogged a bit. He really encapsulated his feelings on the meaning of death and atrocity so well, that I found myself re reading these last few pages savoring them. I was surprised at the brutality in this one. I think if they made this into a movie no one would be able to watch it, it would be so terribly bloody. The story of the woman eating her baby and offering it to the soldiers was fairly poignant I thought. The way the cities were ransacked and then retaken over was fairly intense, and when people tried to run away they perished as well, it seemed like a fairly hopeless situation and the Jews were so under armored and under skilled not just against the Romans (even though they had the numbers) but against other factions as well. I just couldn't get enough of the life of Herod either, that was comparable in scope to anything Shakespeare wrote, Father killing sons, betrayal on all ends, vying for power it was all very dramatic really.