This memorable novella is my favorite book of 2012 so far. I picked it up and was not able to put it down. It's a novella and only takes a few hours to read, so just set aside an evening for it and settle in. I'd describe it as tragicomedy, by turns dark and touching, the characters well-developed and sympathetic. Zverina uses words precisely and with restraint, choosing to capture the nuance and richness of a scene or a character sparingly and poetically (saving us all pages of tedious description!), a la Raymond Chandler. This is a serious book, but Zverina's sense of comedy keeps it from being just a bummer and creates what I consider true art, not just entertainment. Beautiful!