I read this after seeing the BBC drama adaptation which is very good, but also very very different to the book. Well worth a watch (but hard to find although it is on youtube but out of synch).
The book is a long read and sometimes a bit hard for people with the 80's computer based setting in the early part. But this is just the background around the disabled female lead and her dad who runs a computer firm. I don't want to type too much about it for fear of giving the story away.
Needless to say it had be gripped as I was a child born in the early 70's who was a home computer nut of the early 80's so that part had me gripped, but I could see how it may lose some there.
I simply coudn't put the book down first read, and I'm not much of a reader, and I read slow. In fact when I thought I was near the end I stayed up as I just had to see how it ended, well at 5am I finally got to bed.
As the other reviewer said, I was laughing and crying too. Same as I was with the TV adaptation but more so.
I've re-read it a few times since and it's lost none of the power even though I know the story.
I've since hunted out most of his books with the exception of the Willows books. The Duncton books are amazing, the Boy with No Shoes is fabulous and the easiest read, but this is just the best.
Skallagrigg if push came to shove would probably be my favourite book ever if I had to name one, in my top 5 it's up there with "War of the Worlds", "Hound of the Baskervilles", "The Stand (Uncut)" & "The Green Mile"
If you get hold of one then do it.
They seem to fetch silly prices sometimes but you can often find a bargain. I have 3, one grubby PB I first bought to re-read, a HB to keep for best and a spare PB in emergency situations :)