What a fucking weird book. I mean that in a good way; Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom ends with kind of a whimper. I like that. Jules has a near-death experience (death-death, not just restart-death,) comes to terms with Dan, forgiven his murderer, and left the park once and for all. Dan has decided not to commit suicide, but rather to ride the end of the universe like a cowboy at a rodeo. I like that Jules is embarking on another creepy relationship with a much-younger woman (he's changed somewhat, but he's still the same person. That's the kind of resolution I can get behind.)
Here's something I was unprepared for in my ereading experience. On Aldiko Reader, at least, after you "turn" the last "page," the book immediately cuts to a screen in which you are supposed to rate the book on a scale of one to five stars. Now, I normally have no problem with rating things. I love rating movies and restaurants, but for some reason I can't rate books like this. Do I rate it the way I'd rate a sci-fi novel? In that case, it'd get 4 stars. Do I rate it on the same scale as, say, Vonnegut and Dostoevsky? It would do a lot worse in comparison. How do I compare this to a book of poetry? There are just so many variables—so many books out there.
In the end, I decided to employ the sliding scale method and compare it to other like-minded sci-fi novels. If a very good Philip K. Dick novel (say, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said) is 5 stars, I'll give this one 4 stars. I dislike how Lil just disappears from the book and from Jules's mind—for this and other reasons, the ending feels a little rushed and messy to me. The book could have used another fifty pages, I think.
But it's an enjoyable book, a fast read, and one that provides a look into a believable futuristic society that reflects our world right now. Those who are sick of reading about dystopias should love this book; it's kind of a story that takes place after a happy ending, and it's very much a book about the internet. Maybe it's one of the first post-internet novels.
And thus endeth Read an eBook Week. I'll definitely be reading more books this way (especially now that I've found Calibre.) It was remarkably convenient to have my book on my phone so I could open it and start reading from where I left off while on the bus, or during any spare moment. The screen didn't present a problem for me once I found the right brightness settings and font color, and I got into the story just as easily as I would have gotten into a "real" book. I'd call it a success all the way around.