The beginnings of the first and second chapters were good. But they quickly dived after that and the rest of the book never recovered.If I had to describe this book in one word it would be: masturbation.It is obvious that the author is really enjoy himself writing out how passionate/obsessed the main character is about Inez and the opera, but it I am not having fun.Yeah, I get it. The main character was obsessed with the crystal seal, but that doesn't mean that the narrator also needs to be obsessed with the seal. One can write about how obsessed a character is without being obsessed one's self.Also at times it seems like the main character was a caricature of the passionate Latino. So much FIRE! and PASSION! and a lot of DESIRE! but it just never was directed in any real coherent way, rambling about a non-existent person in a picture and don't get me started on that weird Adam and Eve narrative done in second person.I just don't understand what he was going for. It seems like the author just got some ideas in his head and ran with it without ever thinking if it made sense or if it would ever translate to the reader. So that is why I call it masturbation since this novella seemed to be for the benefit of the author, not necessarily for the reader.This is my second attempt at enjoying a Carlos Fuentes novel, and both times he has let me down. Sure I have heard that The Years with Laura Diaz was good, maybe his earlier work is much better since I have only read his more recent work, but I don't know if I want to waste any more time with this guy.