One of my favorite books. Perhaps the greatest depiction of the repercussions of untreated alcoholism and the 'dry drunk' I've ever read. The faulty perceptions, the guilt, the grandiosity, the paranoia, the self-centeredness, the lies, the secrets, the horrible collateral damage, it's all here, as only Hardy could write it. I've read the book before, several times, but every time I read it I find a new layer. The depiction of the "Mayor" is heartbreaking, from beginning to end, a true tragedy in the sense he is never able to get out of his own way. It's a book I wish I'd written.