What an absolute delight. I've read many historical novels that weren't half as exciting, funny and fascinating as this book. I kept having to remind myself that this man REALLY lived through all these things -- the plague, the great London fire, the machinations of the court.
Plus, his willingness to expose in frank (and sometimes bawdy) detail his personal life, health, sexual dalliances, etc., brought *him* as well as his times vividly to life.
The editors' careful selection of entries culled out the best bits while never losing continuity. Kenneth Branagh, the narrator, is a phenomenal talent and shows it in this book. Never over-acting, he manages to convey a perfect tone (for instance, just the hint of a whisper at the more personal parts, as though Pepys was confiding in us).
Although abridged, it runs 9 hours!