I finished City of Dreams by Beverly Swerling recently, and at almost 600 pages, I feel pretty good about getting this one out of Mt. TBR (plus it was a tbr_challenge book, so that's a good feeling as well). While it's very well written, and extremely well researched, I'm afraid I'm not one of those people who is left gushing over it. I understood the need to show life as it was--brutal, unforgiving, deceptive--but the gore level was simply over the top. I began to get the feeling that Swerling was going out of her way to show how barberous conditions were, but it wasn't just about the medical conditions (which is central to the novel), but about the need to show just how filthy people can be. I also was left not feeling very sympathetic toward any of the characters because in the end, no one showed much integrity and everyone let everyone else down. Still, I can give it a 7/10 because I did keep turning the pages and I did feel I learned something from Swerling's meticulous research. I give more information as to why I felt like I did on my amazon review, found at http://tinyurl.com/2bqtt4.