I felt like this book worked as a collection of short stories, but there was never any depth to the "main" characters. I don't know if I'm just not getting it, but I didn't see the secret inner lives of the characters as revealed through the peripheral characters. In fact, the peripheral characters were a lot more interesting than Sasha and Bennie.I can sum up the stories of Bennie and Sasha in a few sentences. Bennie is a punk in 1979 San Francisco. He hangs out with some other punk kids, and meets Lou, a record producer through them. He starts working for Lou, then founds his own record label, gets married, has a kid, cheats on his wife and gets divorced. He sells his label, gets fired, gets remarried, has another kid and helps one of his punk friends from back in the day become a huge recording artist. Sasha comes from a broken home, runs away with some guy in a band and ends up stealing and prostituting herself in Naples. Her uncle finds her and brings her back to the U.S., she starts college, makes friends, one of her friends dies in an accident/suicide, she starts working for Bennie and continues to steal. Eventually she reconnects with her college boyfriend, gets married and has a couple of kids. In other words, they are exceedingly ordinary people. Nothing really special about them, so it's hard to be drawn into their stories. It's a very fast read and I liked each story individually (with the exception of the first two), but I just didn't feel like it ever came together. The first two chapters are by far the weakest, but if you can get through them and start reading the other stories, it's all right. Overall, I'd give this book a resounding "Meh".