The benefits of being sick, but not too sick, is racing through nearly 200 pages in a day. As I read this book, I wasn't sure how much I liked it. The language David Wroblewski used was beautiful and full of lushness. The descriptions were wonderful and I found myself looking up the map of northern Wisconsin more than once on my maps software to try and place the farm. Somewhere near Mellen and Ashland. But the Hamlet-esque turn of the book, with ghosts appearing and younger brothers moving in wavered my admiration. I didn't want to re-read what Shakespeare already wrote and what my high school teachers made me read (but Hamlet is, you know, pretty good so needs no rewriting). So I lost my enjoyment with the book, but persevered anyway.The last 100 pages had me gripped. I read them up, almost swallowing the words. What would happen? Would Edgar go back? Would anybody survive? Would Edgar get his revenge on Claude? I didn't like the end. But it left me winded, and I thought about the book for the rest of the day, unable to pick anything else up. And I was sad.The story is long, maybe a bit too long. But the length builds a picture of a wonderful life, which is shattered. I think it helped me to feel a lot of empathy for Edgar and the difficult position in which he found himself. As my first read 2013, I couldn't have asked for much more.