It took me a long time to get through this one, despite it being packed to the gills with adventure and romance. It was the courtly intrigue that did me in. My brother was always the one who enjoyed reading about people scheming and strategizing, not me. I was halfway through the book before I could figure out what the main story was, but I'm sure that was Stendhal's intention. He keeps calling the main character Fabrizio "our hero", but he doesn't give you much reason to root for him. Fabrizio seems pretty damn foolish throughout the story. However, Stendhal's grasp of the human psyche and how we so readily delude ourselves is reason enough to pick this one up.