While everything that I'm saying is sounding quite negative, the thing is, there really are some impressive things about this book. The characters, though not entirely likeable, are realistic and persuasively rendered. I mean, it's not easy to pull off a convincing madman and make him actually likeable, in some strange sort of way. And, like I said, there are lots of interesting ideas wrapped into the work - the thing is, I just don't have the energy to unravel them at the moment. And for leisure reading, the writing style is awfully dry.
So, it's not a great book, maybe not even a really good one, but it is an interesting one.