I found a link to this novel on Amazon.com in someone's listmania as one of the great sci-fi books.
The concept is this - we start in a prison where the one murderer among the future's trillions of humans is kept. Someone breaks him out to carry out some terrible deed.
Sounds interesting doesn't it? It is - a little anyway. There are bits and pieces here and there that are pretty good, but mainly, the author takes us on tours of various planets, where you get to see wonderfully alien, but beautiful landscapes.
Somewhere along the way, in the middle of a description of one of these strange planets, it hit me that it was all made up. Somehow the author failed to trap me in the story and I could picture him making up all of these planets, maybe even thinking how clever he'd made this or that, and I never got back to it.
At that point, it became like reading a Lonely Planet Guide to some made up place and I didn't really see the value of it. The reviews of the novel on Amazon go on and on about how it's original and a great read, but I just saw it as a travelogue. It did almost nothing for me.