I won this book from Goodreads and was a little shocked to see that it was 970 pages - yikes! Clearly not one to sit down and read cover to cover at one time. Fortunately, since it's a collection of four books of short stories, it lends itself nicely to a more gradual reading.
I've finished the first book (Transactions in a Foreign Currency) and I really enjoyed the stories in that one. I liked the fact that the stories are long enough to allow me to get to know the characters, and the actions of the characters felt consistent (so I wasn't saying "oh, come on........."). I didn't like the main characters in most cases (kept wanting to tell them to get a grip), but this, I think, shows how well portrayed they were, since I kept thinking how annoying they would be if they were actually in my life, rather than thinking that they were unrealistic.
Now finished the second book (Under the 82nd Airborne). What really struck me was that I can't recall one likeable character is any of the stories, while there were at least a couple in the first book of stories. Usually, I like to have at least one character I like and care something about, but, for some reason, I was still engaged in these stories and wanted to see how things developed.
Well, finished the third book of stories (All Around Atlantis), and I really didn't enjoy these. The stories still didn't have likable characters, and I was not particularly interested in seeing what happened to them or how the plots developed.
On to book 4 (Twilight of the Superheroes). This one was much better than the 2nd or 3rd.
If I was rating these separately, I'd give **** to the fourth, *** to the first, ** to the second and * to the third - so they were really all over the place. I'll give it a *** overall.