A boy's adventurous quest for knowledge is the subject of this classic "children's fantasy for adults," the first (1952) and most famous novel produced by an eminent Spanish author later better known as an essayist and linguist. The resourceful Alfanhui—part Candide, part Tom Swift, and just possibly an ironic Christ figure—is an apprentice scientist and
magician whose picaresque adventures in urban Madrid and rural Spain are simultaneously acts of creation (such as "creat[ing] water out of light"), healing, and homage to the inexorable mysteriousness of the physical world. A highly unusual novel, and a thoroughly engaging one.
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