Hi Metropolitan Manila! I’m back to a place where there is easy access to so much international food!
Earlier last week, I was invited by fellow blogger Aldous to join a food event at Red Buffalo which is located at Greenhills Town Center (along Gilmore/Granada). Imagine my surprise when I found out that Red Buffalo was an American restaurant serving buffalo wings and pizza, especially since I’ve recently been tuned to TLC and The Food Channel watching people make all kinds of delicious food….and I was just hankering for some good old American dishes.
Red Buffalo is styled after American restaurants in where else – Buffalo, New York, so you can take a bite and feel like you’re actually in the US eating their well-renowned buffalo wings. They opened up this branch around March 2012 of last year but were open at a different location before then. So if you’ve eaten at the old Red Buffalo branch, which is already closed, don’t fret. This new Red Buffalo branch is much more cosy, allows for more people and more space. And if you’ve had the Breakfast Delight (from the old branch) and are sad to find that it’s not on the current menu, do not fret. Miss Cheska (one of the owners of Red Buffalo) says that you can order the Breakfast Delight from their staff, even if it’s not on the menu.
Located along Gilmore Street (sometimes known as Granada), Greenhills Town Center is an area of food establishments, most notably for its Mcdonalds branch located upfront. Red Buffalo is (literally) right behind Mcdonalds, so follow the drive-thru road to the back and you’ll spot it right away. There are a lot of other restaurants and food establishments in the area, but as it was my first time here… I wasn’t able to notice much of the others. The great thing about Greenhills Town Center that I noticed, is that it sort of separates itself from the Greenhills Shopping Center crowd and traffic, yet it is still accessible to people who live around the area.
The outside is spacious (sorry, I have no pictures of what the entire outside looks like) but there are comfortable seats if you don’t want the stuffy inside aura, or if you want to smoke or just enjoy the afternoon/night air.
The inside was pretty cozy too. I’ve never been to the US, but it kind of feels like a diner but with less noise and less people. The following pictures are a couple more shots of what the inside looks like…
And of course, what other great American meal wouldn’t be complete without a load of this to help down all that greasy, oily, but really delicious food..
Okay, now unto the good part. The food! I arrived pretty early (Well if you consider the time it was suppose to start, which was 5, then I’m late since I arrived at 530. But, we only really started at 630 so that makes me early….Filipino time) so we were given drinks to cool us off while waiting for the others. When we finally decided to start tasting the food, which was when we were around 6 people, we were amazed at how much food they were bringing out for us at any one time. It was hard to pick which dishes to try first because they all looked good. I’d like to believe that I’m an American when it comes to food, because I love eating anything that has a lot of meat, a lot of oil, basically anything that looks outrageously delicious but unhealthy at the same time. So, picking which dishes to try out first was a dilemma.
Above is their house-blend iced tea. If you’re looking for the usual Filipino sweetness, this isn’t anything like that. The sweetness level is okay, enough to make it a delicious drink, but nothing like the usual Nestea iced tea. I guess that’s a good thing because with all the oily food you’ll be downing, you’ll need a lot of water to somewhat balance out the food intake.
Below is the Chili Cheese Fries. I’m not a big fan of Chili or spicy food, but I was surprised to find that I actually liked this combination of fries with chili. It gives it a different flavor from the usual condiments that you partner with fries.
For the orders of Buffalo wings, here’s a list below of the details you’d like to know if you’re ordering any.
Single (5pieces) – P165, Double (10pieces) – P320, Family (20pieces) – P620, Party (40pieces) – P1190
Signature Flavors Include:
- Original Buffalo (comes with different spiciness levels: Hot, X-hot and Suicidal)
- Parmesan Garlic
- Honey Bourbon
- Sweet Heat BBQ
Ranch or Bleu Cheese (Cost for the dips: 30g – P25, 1/2 pint – P150, 1 pint – P25o)
The Parmesan Garlic was by far my favorite buffalo wings order. It looks like a normal chicken with some sprinkling of something on the outside, but once you bite into it, the tasty goodness of the parmesan just sinks in. I’m a big big fan of parmesan so I love how every bite just brings out that parmesan flavor. If you’re a parmesan fan like me, they have parmesan cheese in the condiments rack, so you can just add more of it to the wing if you feel that it isn’t enough.
I wouldn’t suggest you eat this with rice though, I can just imagine that it’d lose it’s flavor if you eat it along with rice.
I’m not someone who likes spicy food so I don’t think I appreciated this flavor very much. This is just hot (lowest of the 3 in terms of level of spiciness) but I could really feel the spiciness of it kicking in. Miss Cheska says that the suicidal is really extra spicy, so i probably won’t get that if I’m ever here because I already have a hard time handling the spiciness of the hot level. SMOKING HOT!
This is the Teriyaki. One bite and you can really feel yourself digging into that teriyaki flavor. It’s delicious and I personally think this would go well with some steamed rice (P25).
RB’s Special. Short of course for Red Buffalo’s Special. You’ll notice that the pizza here in Red Buffalo are all thin crust. Apparently, they use something like a combination of the brick oven with a more modern oven. I love how it’s a thin pizza because you don’t feel yourself gnawing at the pizza when you’re trying to get a bite. Also, each slice is made so that none of the pizza parts fall off as you’re eating it. You can eat it old-style and use your hands, or use utensils to get through each and every bite.
Personally though, I’d just use my hands as you eat more of the pizza that way.
If you’re trying to cut down, or want to eat something a little healthier to kind of balance out the rest of your orders, you can also go for the Vegetarian Pizza. It has less oils in it so you’re basically eating a pizza without worrying so much about all the fats and other things that make a pizza unhealthy.
(start Italian accent here) That’s a good-a meat-a-ball! (end Italian accent here)
This order of baby back ribs looked absolutely delicious, but since I was still eating the other dishes….well I wasn’t able to have a-go at them ribs. It was all gone by the time I wanted to have a bite of this. Oh well, next time maybe?
Can you see how delicious that Double Cheesy Bacon Burger looks?! Look at how that cheese just melts onto the burger, and then imagine it melting even more when you take a bite out of it. I was taking my time as I was eating this, savoring each bite. Hmmm. Yummy.
Healthy healthy living!
This divine looking Apple Bar with Vanilla Ice Cream is Miss Cheska’s own creation. She’s been making this and perfecting this since she was a little girl. I love how the vanilla ice cream just melts into the vanilla bar as you’re eating it. Neither of the two flavors are too strong, they complement each other well. I would love to have another go at this dish the next time I come here. And now that it’s summer and all here in the Philippines, this would definitely be a good dessert to order!
I’d definitely like to come back here with my friends and/or my family, for another go at some of the dishes I really really liked.
Red Buffalo Wings and Pizza
Address: #11 Greenhills Towncenter, #2 Granada St., Barangay Valencia, Quezon City.
(Places near here include: Robinsons Magnolia, Intersection of Santolan and Ortigas/Granada)
Telephone No: (02) 654-6997
>Deliveries are available with a minimum P300 required purchase. Limited delivery area only.
- Mon – Thu: 11:00 – 00:15 (11AM-12:15AM)
- Fri – Sat: 11:00 – 02:00 (11AM-2AM)
- Sun: 11:00 – 00:15 (11AM-12:15AM)
Click on this Fully Booked blog entry for more details, and answers to any of your queries.
Are you a DC fan? Click here for some comics that might be available to you come Free Comic Book Day.
If you’re a kid, teen, or just young-at-heart, click here for some comic books that might just fit your fancy.
Can’t wait! I always seem to miss this event…
Review on: The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles (Book 3)
When I first encountered this title before, from Anne Rice’s collection, I never thought it was part of the vampire series. I originally thought it had something to do with mummy’s and other paranormal creatures or something. Now, I know I was not correct, but i wasn’t entirely wrong, read below to find out why.
Enter The Queen of the Damned, and where we left off from the other book (The Vampire Lestat, book #2) is Lestat finding himself face-to-face with a very powerful vampire before he goes to his sleep-of-the-dead. The prior book talks about Lestat’s world-changing concert, but this next book takes place somewhere before and after the concert. The Queen of the Damned explains to us what happens before the concert, because most of us are left shocked and disoriented with regard to how Lestat’s concert ended the way it did. More or less, the end of the last book and the beginning of this book leads us to understand that another life-changing character makes its appearance, who else but Akasha. I guess I was correct when I guessed that this book sounded like it had to do with mummy’s, because The Queen of the Damned explains to us how it all started. Akasha kidnaps Lestat, and we later find out why it happens. Somewhere in the middle of the book, our young vampires meet up with some very old and ancient vampires who’ve been living for thousands of years, and they help readers understand how vampires came about (in the book). We meet a lof of new characters, and if you’ve read the Mayfair Chronicles series from Anne Rice, we get re-introduced to our old friends – The Talamasca.
Now, The Queen of the Damned is focused on Akasha, she’s the queen of the damned. The flow of the story focuses on why Akasha kidnaps Lestat and goes on the killing-rampage that threatens not only all vampires but mankind as well. With that, we discover the origins of vampires, and how Akasha becomes the slightly deranged vampire that she is. Her origins lead us to Maharet, a beautiful red-headed vampire whom we firstly meet as the relative of Jesse (also a new character) who works for the Talamasca and becomes intertwined with the story of Lestat, since we know and are introduced to the Talamasca who are there to study the paranormal and the weird and the things that normal humans don’t understand. We later find out that Maharet is one of the first vampires after Akasha and Enkil and that she has some connection to the red-headed twins in the dreams that start invading the younger vampires’ minds. We later understand her (Maharet’s) connection to vampires, and how she inconceivably helps bring about the birth of the undead race.
Okay, I find my prior paragraph confusing…and you probably do too. Let me make it much simpler, or at least I’ll try to. During the last book, we meet Akasha and Enkil whom we discover are the first vampires…aka The Mother and The Father, but they have been standing still and they haven’t moved for a very long time. In this book, we are shocked to discover that Akasha kidnaps Lestat and that yes, she can actually move, and she’s quite powerful too. Apparently, her listening to Lestat’s songs spurred something in her and she goes on this quest, or cleansing, which is something like her understanding of a perfect world. On her way to Lestat, she kills off most of the vampire race, except for a special few who are close to Lestat and whom she feels can be spared so as not to sadden Lestat. During her crusade/rampage, and because of Lestat’s concert, a lot of new and old characters meet up and later come together to find out how to stop Akasha. It is within this group, a meeting of old and new vampires that we discover the story behind the creation of vampires, which is also connected to the origins of the newly turned vampire Jesse (she gets introduced and turned in this book) and how she is related to Maharet. Sometime during Lestat’s kidnapping, Akasha gives Lestat some of her original blood which strengthens him but also makes him unable to say no to Akasha, and she introduces Lestat to her perfect world….a world without men, which includes killing off most of the mortal human men and sparing only a few. We also begin to understand that Maharet is the red-haired girl in the dreams, and that she has a twin – Mekare, the one who is creating the visions and spreading them to the vampiric youth.
Despite my mumble-jumble explanation of the story, I think that this book was pretty well-written. The only problem being that it’s sort of hard to understand which came first, as the book jumps from one story and one reality to the next, to some extent. There is an introduction of new characters, some who are familiar if you’ve read some of Anne Rice’s other works, which can be a bit confusing when you’re trying to see the story as a whole. There is a lot of history and stories in this book, and I guess the book itself is full of confusing ideas because it doesn’t only focus on one character. In this book, we meet a lot of people who explain their own stories – Lestat, Akasha, Maharet, Jesse and Khayman. It’s a lot to take in, though Anne Rice seems to organize it all pretty well so that despite all these various backgrounds and characters and stories, you later realize that they are intertwined and interconnected, and that they all serve a purpose.
Personally, I liked The Vampire Lestat better, as the story was more focused and more relate-able. The Queen of the Damned is confusing because it tries to justify and explain so many things that were left out of the previous book. What I loved about this book is how it interconnects itself with characters from Rice’s other books, and here you see the origins of not just vampires but of Maharet’s family, who’ve made a big impact in the genre that Rice writes about. I’m sure some of the members of this family will weave their way into some of Rice’s other books, which makes it just the more interesting. Sometimes though, I found myself just trying to summarize the characters, trying to figure out how they fit here-and-there-and-everywhere.
I would love to give this story 5 starts because it was so well-written and well thought out, but I find that Rice could have done better with how she spread some of the characters. She introduced a lot more characters here than in The Vampire Lestat, and she gave a lot more background and history, sometimes moving from past to present to past to present, while The Vampire Lestat had a clearer flow for the story. Also, I didn’t understand some parts of the end of this book, and I felt like she could have done more there…..but then again, there are still books that follow this one so maybe some of it will be explained later on.
I can’t wait for the next one: Tale of the Body Thief.
Review on: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles (Book 2)
You haven’t understood Anne Rice’s vampires until you read about the Vampire, Lestat. The Vampire Lestat is an introduction to Lestat, from his days as a human to his days and nights as a vampire. I find that Lestat is more human than most, but is also one of the best examples of a vampire.
So who is Lestat in this story? He first begins as a nobleman, born into a poor family of noble lineage. Early on, he was somewhat isolated from his brothers and sisters, but very close to his mother. He always felt like he didn’t belong, but he had wondrous dreams that always felt like they were out of reach. But on his final adventure as a mortal, he escapes with his friend Nicolas to Paris where they live their liberal and independent lives, until their jobs at the local theatre make Lestat the target of the vampire Magnus. Magnus kidnaps Lestat in the middle of the night and turns him into a vampire, before throwing himself into the fire (ultimately killing himself) and leaves Lestat to fend for himself as a new-born vampire. Lestat, proud and willful as he is, uses the money left to him to splurge on himself and his friends at the theatre, who don’t know who their benefactor is. Somewhere along the way, Lestat’s mother Gabrielle comes to say goodbye to her son, as she is already at the brink of dying. Instead of letting her die, along with her mother’s unresolved dreams, he turns her into a vampire like himself. Later on in the story, Nicolas becomes resentful of Lestat’s money and gifts, and forces Lestat to turn him into a vampire too. In the time before Nicolas is turned into a vampire, Lestat and Gabrielle encounter a band of vampires who belong to a coven under Armand (see book 1) who have long ago followed a set of guidelines about vampires, and serving Satan, and who have lived in hiding from humans. This coven tries to condemn Lestat and Gabrielle who try to make themselves human by living amongst them. Later on, this coven along with the now-turned Nicolas, become the Théâtre des Vampires (see book 1), leaving a very reluctant Armand in-charge of a band of vampires who must now try to adapt to the more modern Paris. Gabrielle and Lestat leave Paris and go on their own adventure but later part as they find that they have different desires for the future, but promising that they will meet again. It is in Egypt that Lestat becomes distraught and he buries himself underground, and how he later on meets Marius – a very old but legendary vampire. It is Marius who has been alive for over a thousand years that shares with Lestat all the questions he has had, later on introducing Enkil and Akasha whom Armand calls Those Who Must be Kept. He listens to the beginnings of Marius and his time since being turned, increasing evermore Lestat’s curiosity for Enkil and Akasha whom he wakes up with his violin-playing. Here, Enkil almost kills Lestat and Marius is forced to send Lestat away to the New World, where the story of Interview With a Vampire begins. The story doesn’t end here as it takes us back to the beginning of the novel, where Lestat introduces himself as a rockstar who has exposed himself to the world as a vampire (fictional of course, to the eyes of the mortal) and exposes his story and the stories that were to be kept.
If you’ve read the first book, Interview With a Vampire, we finally see the character of Lestat whom Louis doesn’t describe much in his story, more or less because there is so much of Lestat’s story that Louis doesn’t know. If you wanted to see more of Lestat, this is really the book you should be reading. Finally, readers get a chance to see how Lestat really is, and why his personality and character is perceived the way he explains it. Because Rice writes the story from Lestat’s time as a mortal to his time as a vampire in pre-Industrial Europe to the modern 20th century, we are able to see the various parts of Lestat and how his experiences mold him to become the vampire that he is at the end of this book. This book is full of various characters, each interesting on their own, but contributing to a better understanding of our main character. It’s like joining a character from their birth to their death (or as far along as the story can take us), we see how they are at their immature stage, yet we see them learn from their experiences and we see them grow into something more. We don’t understand much of Lestat at the beginning of the story, but as time passes on, and the years and centuries in the book take place, we see Lestat grow and face both his immortality and his human-ness.
At times, the book feels like it’s carrying too much. Like there are too many characters and too many stories and too many things happening at the same time. When I read this book, I felt like I wanted to know more about so many other characters but it wasn’t tackled by Anne Rice. Well, it is about the vampire Lestat and not the others, but the introduction of those characters in the book, though short, pave the way for the future books of this series. One thing that the introduction of so many new characters does though, is that it gives us a clearer understanding of what a vampire really is. The different stories and personalities of the characters from the first two books (this and Interview with a Vampire), already tells us so much of Anne Rice’s vampire characters. It is quite a sight, seeing the limits of vampires, and also becoming disillusioned by what we think vampires are. As the book progresses, we begin to understand that vampires are not to be understood in the context of a single lifetime, but the lifetimes of so many characters put together, and the characters we have yet to meet in the future books.
At the start of this review, I said that I think Lestat is more human than most. Throughout the story, Lestat has this characteristic of being both inside and outside of a circle. He is made immortal but he clings to his human side, his family and his friends and his memories. Throughout the story, he is continuously searching for the place where he can belong or people he can be with. Unlike other vampires (explained in later stories), he is rarely alone and always has a companion with him. He longs for companionship while most vampires tend to keep away from each other. Also, within Lestat is a continuous struggle for good and bad. One cannot say that Lestat is completely evil, but one cannot say he is completely good. This struggle to do what’s right and to do what’s natural (for a vampire), constantly clashes as Lestat lives on, whether it’s something personal that he learns on his own or whether it’s from the other people and vampires he encounters. Despite the years, Lestat’s personality changes yet remains the same, and you can see a power and arrogance and strength that was with him when he was a human and is still with him as a vampire, with his being a vampire and immortal and with power only making all these characteristics all the more clear to the readers.
One can’t help but love and hate Lestat for what he is.
The next book is even more shocking.
Review on: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles (Book 1)
Interview with a Vampire follows the story of Louis, a vampire currently living in the 20th century, who in an interview with a young journalist introduces his story of how he lived when he was a human, until he was turned into a vampire, and his life following that event.
Louis, the wealthy young master of a family who owns a plantation in New Orleans, recounts to us his life with his younger brother and sister, and how the events after the death of his younger brother drove him to the brink of alcoholism and how this eventually leads to his having encountered Lestat who turns Louis into the vampire he is. Louis continues to recount to the journalist how he learns to become a vampire under Lestat, his journey as they try to live within the society without giving away their identity. And later when Lestat turns a young girl child into a vampire to act as Louis’ companion, how they journey through the years and the realizations they encounter along the way. Later, Louis and Claudia (the girl vampire) try to escape from Lestat by attempting to kill him and they flee to Europe in the hopes of finding old-vampires who can teach them things that Lestat was never able to share with them. This leads them to meet the Théâtre des Vampires, with their coven leader Armand, who introduces them to their vampire world with vampires who are nothing like the vampires that Louis and Claudia hoped to find. Later, this is where they are again discovered by Lestat who hopes to take Louis away and to do away with Claudia who in the first place attempted to kill Lestat. Here, Claudia and Madeleine (a woman who Louis turns into a vampire to act as a companion for Claudia – upon her request) are killed by the Théâtre des Vampires, whom later Louis takes vengeance on before running off with Armand. The end of the story follows Louis who happens to meet Lestat again in New Orleans, and later on the end of the recounting of his story with the journalist who is not satisfied with the ending to such a thrilling story.
This book actually has a movie-version, which I happened upon over 10 years ago. I can remember parts of the movie, and faces of the characters, but nothing more of the story, so I guess you can say I came upon this book without any expectations.
The content of the book is exactly as the title says it is, it is an interview with a vampire. The recounting of a sad story, to an interested journalist/ reader. The start of the story is actually quite intriguing as we see and we sort of empathize with Louis who after the death of his brother has to deal with becoming a new vampire, just like a child who needs guidance. Time within the book is hard to understand though as the passing of a couple of years in the book happens over a couple of paragraphs at certain parts of the story, and other parts are more detailed. The switching of dialogues between Louis’ and the journalist, and his recounting of the story can be a bit confusing as it seems so realistic, like someone remembering a story and actually living in the memory and then suddenly finding themselves thrown back into reality. But it is just a characteristic of the story that makes it even more interesting. All the characters are given enough “screen time”, depending on how important they are to the flow of the story as they are introduced with character descriptions.
I can say that for this book I am somewhat disappointed, just like the journalist. The ending came by quickly, and maybe I had hoped for something more grand for the ending because the start of the book just sounded so amazing and interesting. But then again, the end was a little cliff hanger, leaving the reader to imagine what happened to Louis. Now that I think about it, I wish the book was a little longer and had more dialogue for Lestat, but then again this is the story of Louis, not Lestat, so I cannot fault the book for this.
Overall, this is really quite an interesting book as it tries to explain to us the story of Anne Rice’s vampires, from their beginnings (when they are newly turned) to decades and centuries later as they try to adapt to the ever-changing world. I cannot wait to read the other Anne Rice books that have Lestat as a main part of their story. It also makes me want to go back and read the Anne Rice books that I read over 5 years ago, because I’m sure that their stories will make more sense to me now.
Review on: Vittorio the Vampire by Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles
Vittorio the Vampire is a creatively written story by Anne Rice, introducing to us Vittorio who is a very educated nobleman born in the mountains north of Tuscany. Before he became a vampire, Vittorio was a strapping educated young man who was gifted in physical attributes, but also gifted of mind. Learned because of his having traveled to places like Florence where he cultivated his love of literature and the arts. It is when he is 16years old that his quiet and peaceful world is destroyed by what he believes to be demons. All of his family members are attacked and killed when their compound is infiltrated, and he is spared by the kindness of one of these female monsters. It is then that he goes off to seek vengeance for his family’s death.
He soon learns that these demons are blood-sucking vampires who are creatures of the night, and that some towns actually pay them homage in return for their safety, by giving these vampires unwanted members of society like the sick, the dying, the misshapen, the old, and such. It is during his discovery that he is chanced upon by a creature of the night and taken to their abode, but not before having killed his abductor, and then having his life spared again by the same female creature that spared his life when Vittorio’s home was attacked.
The Court of the Ruby Grail – the Court of Vampires from long before men lived in that part of the world. Ursula, the female vampire who begs for Vittorio’s life, saves Vittorio from being killed by the Court for being impudent and unfailing in his philosophies. It is here though that he is poisoned and then left to wander in Florence, and this poison allows him later to see angels whom he is able to convince to aid him in taking revenge for his family. And it is later these angels that Vittorio disappoints and fails when in his quest to destroy the very things that killed his family, he is unable to kill the female vampire who saved him and who he has fallen in love with. Despite his revulsion of the vampires, he is tricked into becoming the very thing he loathes and goes on a blood-seeking adventure with Ursula.
It is only later that Vittorio is back in Florence and finds himself face to face with the angels he had faced, most especially the strongest of them, who grants Vittorio one last gift….a curse to what remains of his humanity.
Vittorio the Vampire is an interesting book with a very enthralling introduction. There are great expectations from the book as Anne Rice introduces a very strong-willed character who’s like a hero that can’t be defeated. His background, the setting, the movement of the story, it all seemed to be moving forward well. And then of course, there’s the reality of the story. Of how the story suddenly ended, the disappointment in the main character Vittorio and how I as a reader hoped that he would remain fervent in upholding his philosophy. The whole story takes place more or less in a span of one week, with most of the story focused on 4 days. Seeing as how Vittorio was introduced, despite the dilemma he is faced with because of the death of his family, I thought his revenge story would seem much more worthwhile as a read, especially since it is mentioned in the book how he is disturbed by his dream-turned-reality of holding his brother and sister’s severed head in his hands. Apparently, the decapitation of the vampires though interesting, didn’t garner much interest in me as a reader, in contrast to what I expected. Also, the resulting Vittorio (as a vampire) felt too much a disappointment since I half-hoped that Vittorio the human would have retained more of his human nature and would have more conflicting emotions within himself during his transformation. His gift-curse was appealing to me, though I would have loved to have that further expanded.
The thing I liked most out of the story was Anne Rice’s inclusion of the angels as Vittorio’s guides through his revenge-seeking adventure. The dialogue was thought-provoking, and reminded me a lot of the Philosophy classes I took back in university. There were parts of the story where Vittorio would quote from philosophers, and his having a stand against the angels as he was venting out his frustrations, and even the angels’ conversations with him, were really nice additions to the story.
I finished this book in about 3 sittings, over a span of 2 days, which is too say…you can go through the content of the story pretty fast. It’s not that hard of a read, and it has some biblical and philosophical references, which always makes for great debate topics later on.