I keep deleting the four and putting a three out of five. This novel has some of the best and most vivid writing I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Giving the first two thirds of the book a sequel in one tome; phenomenal characterisation; harrowing and gritty descriptions; and a superb, if somewhat far-fetched plot in that sequel-like last third, make this deserving of its accolade (1992 Booker Prize). However, the sheer length is both sanctimonious and tedious. There’s only so much a reader, no matter how supercilious they are in their appreciation for literature, can take. Having said that, the epilogue calmed me and justified my long-distance journey. It’s a heart-wrenching anti-climax and I won’t be able to forget it. Ever.