The book takes us through the underbelly of Victorian London and is a vivid picture of these times. The book is also helped by the voice of the narrator, Wilkie Collins, as he also is drawn into Dicken's obsession and he begins to swing between admiration and resentment for Dickens.
Simmons also references a lot of the novels written by Dickens and Collins and this only helps to set the scene further, especially if you are familiar with either of the authors.
Guillermo del Toro is quoted on the cover and I can only dream about him filming a version of this wonderful book.
In the end this book is a masterpiece of storytelling, and I urge everyone to read it.