After reading 'The Tangier Diaries' and 'The South American Diaries' by the same author, I decided to try some of his fiction. That was a great decision. This novel sneaks up on you with every page. The protagonist is simultaneously bold, brave and sickly. He's also a thoughtful loner and a hopeless romantic dying to make a connection with others. Throughout the book the character walks a fine line between solitude and loneliness. Of the three connections he makes, a relationship with a woman twice his age, another with a disabled woman who also happens to be a beautiful social-butterfly, and a friendship with a severely depressed Englishman with a too-close for comfort relationship with his mother, the reader gets the sense that if each character were to be interviewed regarding their relationship with the protagonist, they'd categorize him in lesser relationships than he convinces himself that he's cultivated. For example, he thinks he loves the disabled beauty when to her, he's nothing but a friend with occasional benefits. The writer's description of Tangiers and the mountains of Morocco and her people are always fascinating and never boring. John Hopkins is an extraordinary writer who should be better known and read. I've had to study classics in high school and college that weren't as good as this book. By all means, please go read this book and explore an exotic location and the mind of a complicated protagonist. I loved it and will read it again.