I didn't earn the right to claim that this book is horrible. I did earn the right to say that the first third is, though. I can't go on.Except for Shep, the characters in this novel are loathsome, nasty people. Glynis, Shep's wife and cancer patient, is weaponized, revealing her disease to friends and family in the ways that will hurt them the deepest. And reveling in the pain she causes. I can only believe that the author is deliberately challenging my compassion; can I bring to the surface sympathy for a miserable person being attacked by a miserable disease (and it is really awful and painfully detailed) or will I root for the cancer? I think I'll take a middle ground on it: I don't want this cancer to kill her or cause any further suffering. I just don't want this character (or her friends) in my life.And one more negative: the diatribes uttered by each character and the narrator could have been supplied by lobbyists as paid placement. And, just in case you don't pick up on the point the first time, the arguments will be repeated several times so that you get it. This is not interesting or challenging literature. It's pamphleteering. Shriver, the point here can be delivered in about a paragraph and none of your readers are so intellectually challenged to need it repeated several times at great length. It's almost as bad as an Ayn Rand novel.There are reviews on Good Reads that say the last 60 pages offer some redemption for this novel. I'm not going to waste any more time to get to that point when there are so many good books to read.And for the Tournament of Books 2011, if the winner gets a rooster, this book should get a turkey.