The first of Mr. Doctorow's books has his usual wonderful premises sprinkled throughout. The characters are not quite as well developed as in a Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town but still are developed enough that you can care about what happens to them, the book is not tedious to read through.
However, the rushed ending is what killed me on this one. I got to a certain spot and it suddenly seemed to scream headlong to an ending and I was very frustrated by it. It was like good sex (not great sex, but good sex) up to that point with a premature end.