This is a long book and rich with meaning. Although a grim book, there is a lot of humor in it. Some parts of it made me laugh out loud, and, still, because it was set in a different time and culture, I know I missed a lot of allusion in it. While reading it, I could tell that I wasn't understanding the full meaning of certain part. An acquaintance of mine confirmed that it was required reading in high school in the Philippines. A class would be a good way to get the full meaning of the book. This is not great book for finding our how the common Filipino lived because most of the characters are wealthy Spaniards. It is good to read a book that contributed to Philippine independence, and the book is entertaining, but not necessarily easy to read.