I recommend this book for the witty turns of phrase and unusual accounts of strange, future human societies.
The story is interesting, but overall not very strong. Still, it kept me reading, and I have since read the second book of the series, "Ecce and Old Earth", and have added the third "Throy" to my wishlist.
This is the first book I've read by Jack Vance, and I was fascinated. There is a unique tone to the book. The plot develops very slowly, and the narrative seems to trail off into many details of the world or culture...but these are interesting, and help the story rather than distract from it. The plot moves slowly, as I said, but there is a sense of always waiting for smething to happen, and there are several surprising turns. Despite the length, and the style, I was not bored. The ending...is no end at all. THe story is meant to continue to the sequel, and as good as the book is, it does not stand alone very well.