I was unprepared for how much fun this novel was, how beautiful and funny and smart. I took it with me on vacation and by the time I arrived in Greece, I'd finished it. I had an idea of it from the PBS adaptation that I saw in the 80s as a kid, but now that pales in comparison to the rich wit and intelligence inside the book. I have real fears about the new film coming, and doubt, from a look at the cast, that they have the swagger and charm to pull this off.
Part of what I loved about the novel was the way it showed a man in love first with a man, and then a woman, though what he loves in her is what he loved first in her brother. But I also loved it as a technician-- the narrative structure, the movement through time, and the tenderness in the book for all it touches on, even of what the narrator hates, something that's rare but increasingly what I look for in what I read. Also, it's just funny, witty, and the characters have real style.