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Perhaps it is here that the novel fails to hold me: I struggled to first care about these other specters and then to full differentiate between them in a meaningful and discernable way. Yes, some of their stories are interesting and some of the Civil War bleed over is as well, but much of the text seems stuck in neutral. While the experiment might be a success, the craft outweighs the substance in my mind, and I often struggled to plow on and find purpose in the meandering prose. Ghost here, story there, none of it was gripping in a traditional sense, which given the style is understandable, but it failed to fully gel together in my mind. That said, Saunders still flashes as a talented writer, and obviously it worked for a great many, even if I was languishing in the bardo.