In the brilliant tradition of Don Quixote and Candide, this passionate novel by the author of Before Night Falls is a modern masterpiece of Latin American fiction. Fray Servando—priest, blasphemer, dueler of monsters, irresistible lover, misunderstood prophet, prisoner, and consummate escape artist—wanders among the vice-ridden populations of eighteenth-century Europe and the Americas, fleeing dungeons, a marriage-minded woman, a slave ship captain, and the Inquisition. Whether by burro, by boat, or by the back of a whale, Fray Servando’s journey is at once funny and romantic, melancholy and profound—a tale rooted in history, yet outrageously hallucinatory.
“An impenitent amalgam of truth and invention, historical fact and outrageous make-believe . . . a philosophical black comedy.”—The New York Times