Prado is introduced as one of ""the three outstanding novelists of Chile"" which by indirection is a reflection on its literary landscape since it is not a major novel. Hardly a novel--rather au autobiographical, formless and fragmentary sequence which deals with the brief period of tenure of Estaban Solaguren as a minor magistrate. All sorts of plaintiffs and defendants, quite impoverished, appear before him in a succession of trifling charges. A somewhat disconsolate man to begin with, Solaguren is further troubled by the limitations of justice and his own fallibilities as a man who knows both too much and too little. He resigns, as a Judge, to continue his uneasy reflections on the illusory nature of existence....A meditative small book, certainly too unemphatic to attract a discernible audience.