I read this after having read "Ocean of Words". I thought I would like to read a novel by him, but to me this just felt like a short story that got elongated. Some of the things I like about his writing are there, it's not elegant prose by any stretch of the imagination, but there is something very direct about it that I like.
On the whole there's just not much to this one. I also question the use of the prologue at the beginning. It takes place somewhere about the middle to later stage of the novel proper. It seemed sort of random and didn't add anything to the story. The twist ending seemed a bit cheesy and lessened my respect for the story as a whole.