George Garrett is a fantastic writer, and I adore this story. Assuming this is the same book I have, mine includes another story--the name of which escapes me at the moment--which is equally fascinating. Both contain many layers, asks you to come to your own conclusions, and is a great stimulator of discussion. Not surprisingly, I read this for a seminar in college. This is definitely a book that makes you feel smart and cultured, and lets be honest, a lot of us get off on that. I do, especially when the book is genuinely fantastic.