Although Guiamo paints a fairly vivid portrait of its protagonist's adolescence, Best's prose relies too heavily on summarizing, or "telling, and lacks the description necessary to truly immerse the reader in the novel's plot. Furthermore, this lack of detail impedes the reader's ability to identify with Guiamo. In spite of this, however, readers can't help but root for Best's hardworking, fiercely optimistic protagonist. While Guiamo's plot starts off slow (the novel's first few chapters lack conflict), it accelerates considerably as the book progresses. Best conveys ancient Rome with a stunning level of historical accuracy, and his knowledge of the time period imbues the novel with rare sense of authenticity. Although I can't endorse Guiamo as a fast read, I do, however, recommend it as a satisfying one.