I enjoyed it immensely. I read it about 4 times. There are so many ways that it points out stagnation, society, schooling, (in a hugely funky Harry Potter way
) relationships, religions, families, war, imho it covers pretty much the entire world in one fell swoop.
I loved the Re-Annual wine, the 100 meter non-chalant walk, the doctor's opinion that Pteppic was dead, which says a lot about medicine in general even today..., the bread sprouting amongst everything else he walked or loitered by
too funny. The immovability of Dios' way that things should be was altogether too real for me with the issues we face when trying to change governmental paths around the world. The World's Greatest Mathematician rocked my world, You Bastard had a starring role in Ephebe! Terminally pruning an olive tree, and stunning seagulls with the pits, while Ptraci fed leaves to the rescued tortise was hilarious!!
The Armies of the two countries standing so close to each other and knowing that mutual annihilation was the probable outcome is so very realistic. This was near the time of the fall of the Berlin wall also. Both commanders were understandably reluctant to start things up. Newbie soldiers are scared and pumped to start, veterans of war already know all the icky details and realize that avoiding it is the best choice possible.
I found it to be a True and Real slice of life, and non-life. The mummies bitching about how horrible it was to be in pyramids was precious. I liked the cultural language shift bit where the oldest had to be translated through several generations.
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.