Not as deep nor as interesting as his other fiction books. I would recommend "When Nietzche Wept" as the best as far as his curious intellectual/academia fiction goes, and "Lying on the Couch" as a novel of Yalom's that has the most mainstream-feeling narrative. This book is neither. It's longer, it's duller. For a better read, trying Alan Lightman's "The Diagnosis" or Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections" -- all three of these books are of a feather and Yalom's is not the big winner. But even saying all that (and now you will never believe me) I loved this book and call it a keeper.