There is a dream like quality to this story with dreams being described, shared and things to fear.
Three critics of a long forgotten german author meet and become friends as they share their work and talk at conferences around the world. A spaniard, german and italian are then joined by a female from London. the first part of the book then develops around the idea of their relationship with the English woman having affairs with them all as well as their search for the reclusive author they all study.
At the start it is enough for them to share an interest in the author but then an obsession starts to grow that they should try to find him. There are warnings of what that might involve with the parallel case of a lost artist they discover and the dreams are also there to warn them off.
But the journey proves to be too tempting after an obscure sighting in Mexico but rather than find anything they risk losing themselves in a dreamlike state of stagnation.