I only finished this book through sheer force of will (I didn't want my eReader mocking me by showing me how far I'd gotten, either.)There are no nice people in this entire book. Seriously. And it's not that I want Pollyanna-esque portrayals; people are multi-facetred.Except in this book, where they are cardboard caricatures.I would be reading along, thinking "Well, maybe it's getting better," and along would come a diatribe on Russian feudal agriculture, or philosophy, or something.I finished, though, and I learned something: I far prefer French novels to Russian ones. Give me Zola, Leroux, Dumas pere or fils, Hugo, etc., any day.