I was reading an article or review or something and this novel was mentioned in the context of other readable things that seemed interesting, so I borrowed it from the library and, yes, it is a pleasurable novel. The hero, the improbably named Hugo (improbably because the only Hugo I ever knew was a strange, distasteful fellow from college; not at all like this Hugo) Whittier.
Hugo is a sort of self aware and sexually voracious Ignatius Reilly. No, not as brilliant as that creation, but there is something similar in them. Their anti-modernism, their sense of their appetites, and their comic natures.
But, as enjoyable as the book was, it couldn’t live up to the comic conceit of its amusing (and conceited) protagonist. It didn’t blow the landing, but it didn’t stick it either (A Confederacy of Dunces nailed it). In a sense, the ending reminded me slightly of A Clockwork Orange (the book, not the movie), but instead of Alex growing up, Hugo get therapy.