Winner of the Goncourt Prize, this mesmerizing novel is wrapped in layers of male midlife crisis and the Parisian art world. The elegant, fiftyish Ferrer owns an art gallery, and as the book opens, he leaves his wife. Besides being entangled in a series of relationships with much younger and exquisitely beautiful women, he's negotiating a hunt for some rare antiquities in the Arctic, an adventure with all the weird charm of a hallucination. The antiquities are stolen from Ferrer, and he has a heart attack in the street, but it all turns out well. There's a bit of stolen and switched identity; there's a lot of free-floating existentialism; and there are descriptions of texture and feeling utterly pinned to the metaphorical wall.