The most interesting parts of the famous siamese twins' lives seemed foreshortened, like the time in the king of Siam's court and especially their days with Barnum, which is barely mentioned for context. And while much of the characterization was fascinating, letting you think about the wierd intimacies these brothers must share as no one else would, ultimately I found it too melancholy. The voice of Chang, although finding redemption in the very end, could see nothing good or interesting in his life but those pleasures he was denied, and I found the unbroken depression of it exhausting.
Someone else might have a different take on this one, and it was certainly well executed, but right now I'm looking for "Water for Elephants
" to offer some carnival-goofiness that this book could not.