Synopses & Reviews
Where the Air Is Clear, Carlos Fuentes's first novel, is an unsparing portrayal of Mexico City's upper class. Departing from a traditional linear narrative, Fuentes constructs his novel around a series of encounters with members of this world, including Federico Robles, an ambitious self-made millionaire; Rodrigo Pola, a writer whose father was executed in the Mexican Revolution; and Norma Larragoiti, a social climber striving to erase her humble past. At the center of these events is Ixca Cienfuegos, an enigmatic figure who views the dramas enacted around him with unusual clarity, and who, with the aid of an Indian priestess, plots the destruction of the group. Overlaying Mexican myths onto contemporary settings, Fuentes shows that even the rich and powerful must succumb to the indomitable spirit of Mexico, which undermines all institutions and shapes all destinies.