This is my favorite novel of all time! I have been an avid reader of novels for 28 years, so that is quite the compliment. As I was reading I felt like I had come to know Michelangelo, the man, on a personal level. The way Stone described Michelango carving made me want to pick up a piece of marble and give carving a whirl. I can't imagine the research that went into producing this book. This is a very long novel and if you have no interest in history, Italy or art it may be difficult to get through. But because I love this book so much it would be very hard for me to comprehend that not everyone would love it as much as I do. If you have any interest in reading historical fiction The Agony and the Ecstasy is a must read!