Unfortunately, we must memorize some 30 names and learn a lot of backstories before getting to the book’s central conflict: how to fill Barry’s vacant council seat and, more broadly, how to deal with the underprivileged residents of the Fields, a subsidized housing project for the desperately poor. By the time the book picks up I succumbed to boredom and gave up. If reviews are to be believed—many have already given up.
In the end I watched the film. I found that boring too.