I took this book on what turned out to be a very distracting trip and kept feeling as if the characters were slipping out of my grasp. So I managed a second read (ideally I'd do this for almost every book) which turned out to be richly rewarding.
The inter-relationships of the characters and how events over time defeat, encourage, enlighten, sadden, toughen each one is intricately and beautifully constructed. With rock and roll as the hook these people hang their lives on, the stories take on the shape of one of those albums that became formative, moving back and forth in time like a serendipitous hit of the shuffle button that makes the music seem fresh and meaningful all over again.
Ultimately, it's a very hopeful book: somehow the world may be a place where even the kids of the kids may be alright.