I listened to this as an audiobook and I did notice all the big words, (a trademark of Conroy,) that would have daunted some. My husband is not a big reader, and would have never made it through this, but he really enjoyed listening to it. So get the audiobook, you won't be disappointed! Note: this was my introduction to Pay Conroy's work. I am hooked! Note: They made a movie of this, and it wasn't in our library system, or even in the whole system of Alberta.......but my sweet librarian ordered a copy for me! Thanks Diane!