Before I read this book, I gathered that the main character would be a sharp satire of a certain kind of intellectual, privilege-blinded guy. He is that, but I wasn't expecting to see so much of myself in him, or to sympathize. But I think everyone in this book is carefully drawn so that the reader can see what makes him or her tick--even if Nathaniel P can't. (And he actually can, much of the time; the greater part of his poor treatment of other characters is executed in spite of, not in ignorance of, their feelings about it.) Brooklyn and its literati are keenly observed, and though there is a certain enviable glamour in their blase parties, writing achievements, and trendy restaurants, it's also clear how much they all coast on a certain willful ignorance about labor, success, and what matters. Nathaniel P may be a terrible boyfriend, but his shortcomings are of a piece with those of his community.