Baroja is a gifted writer, a genious of his time. He portrais the "real spain" better than any other spanish author of his time. The storie takes place during a decadent time in Spain but it also rings true for any other place at any other time. This book is fascinating in that it closely follows the "philosophical attack" of its main character. It offers no solutions, but is provides insightful and thought provoking alternatives. Although not the focused of the book, it has one of the most realistic, best love stories I have ever read. If you like to question the ways of the world, and how you fit in it, this book is a must!!