I am simply blown away by the fact that this is Steve Toltz's first novel. This is one book where size doesn't matter: the 500 + pages literally flew in no time. I just started this the day before yesterday, and if silly things like sleep and family (not to mention preparing for a tropical storm) didn't get in the way, I'm sure I would have finished it yesterday.
I cannot, absolutely cannot do this book justice so I won't go into plot details, etc, but suffice it to say that this is undeniably one of the best books I have read this year. It is a nonstop ride that makes forays (in a most politically incorrect way (yay!) ) into pretty much all areas of life in one of the most creative sessions of writing I've ever experienced. It begins as a tale of good intentions gone very very badly, and then you're hooked because you absolutely must stay with it to find out how it's all going to end.
I predict only great things for this author. He looks at life from a fresh perspective and his writing is simply exquisite. I loved this book, and can very highly recommend it. I know I'm going to want to reread it at some point -- it's that good.
As an aside, the Booker judges are going to have their work cut out for them this year...kudos to them for putting it on the longlist.