It'll make you laugh and make you cry - it gets to your soul.
I have to be honest and say that during the first section of the book, I was sorely tempted to put it down for one of the others I had. It was slow and boring.
I'm glad I persisted though. As from the second section on, I could hardly put it down. It made me feel unbelievably happy and incredibly sad by turn. Although a life story of four friends, it was really all about Jude and by the end I was really routing for him.
This is not an easy read. It includes difficult subject matters but this was the book that made me cry at various points and really got to me.
Now I feel that, in a while, I must re-read the first section to see what I have missed! In the meantime, I keep thinking about it and the stories that it told. Some stories that were ugly and some beautiful. Connections (or lack of them) between human beings. Goodness and evil. Great read but you shouldn't pick this up if you want a light read, for that, it isn't.