On a hot, insomniac night at the Hotel Metropol, the novelist Carlos Fuentes steps onto his balcony only to find another man on the balcony next door. The other man asks for news of the social strife turning into revolution in the unnamed city below them. He reveals himself as the 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, permitted to revisit earth once a year for 24 hours based on his theory of eternal return. With tenderness and gallows humor, the novelist and the philosopher unflinchingly tell the story of the beginning of the revolution, its triumph, fanaticism, terror, and retrenchment: a story of love, friendship, family, commitment, passion, corruption, betrayal, violence, and hope.
"Carlos Fuentes in all his books draws tight a tense conjunction of opposites: the sensuously beautiful and the horrifyingly ugly, innocence and evil, past and present, the familiar and the strange, nature and culture." -New York Times
"Mexico's greatest novelist." -The Guardian
"Carlos Fuentes is a major force in contemporary Mexican letters." -New York Times
"For many, many writers of my young generation, Carlos Fuentes was a master. We studied, pored over, all but traced his novels. Now, thirty years on, he is still master, undiminished." -Richard Ford
"In the late Fuentes’s last novel [Nietzsche on His Balcony], the author reflects on love, justice, and power by engaging, through his character Dante Loredano, in an imaginary dialog with German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche." -Starred Review, Library Journal
"In Fuentes . . . there is verbal eroticism, violence and pleasure, an encounter and an explosion. A chemical retort and a fireworks display."
"What strikes the reader first in Fuentes's work may be his erudition and intellectual rigor, but what remains in his mind is his sympathy."
-Times Literary Supplement