Having to reread MAP OF THE WORLD a second time in 3 years for my book discussion group (I am a librarian and discussion leader) gave me an opportunity to get really annoyed all over again. Why would anyone care about this two self-absorbed , sullen characters that can't communicate with each other let alone the reader. Alice likes to tromp around doing Hungarian dances while Howard milks the cows? Give me a break! When will contemporary authors quit beating the dead and boring horse of dysfunctional families and write something beyond their own personal experience. Write about something you don't know - do some research!