I thought this was a GREAT book. I don't know anything about the author or his background but he knows so much about so many different topics that it's really quite amazing. It's the type of book that you really need to pay attention to, which, let's face it, isn't always possible while driving down the road, but I was very interested in the story line right from the start. It follows a number of different characters and you learn as it goes along how their lives all intertwine. I thought it was fabulous and very, very smart. Highly recommended.