As he did in his acclaimed travel book, Patagonia Express, Chilean writer Seplveda (Un viejo que leia novelas de amor; An Old Man Who Read Love Novels) here transports the reader to fascinating yet divergent settings: Ipanema during carnival, Patagonia, rainy Hamburg (Germany), the Peruvian-Colombian-Ecuadorian frontier, and Santiago de Chile in the Sixties. Nostalgia is the theme running across the delicious stories, as Sepulveda reaches into the past and produces singularly compelling tales. Hotel Z is the story of a male crocodile brought from the Nile to improve the genes of the small reptiles of America. In "The Tree, the protagonists are trees that are now all but gone, with the exception of one that awaits its end with courage. In The Reconstruction of the Cathedral, three adventurers go deep into the jungle to find a town long ago abandoned and decide to rebuild the cathedral there. The sarcastic title of Minimal Story tells of a midget who is stood up by a date. Sepulveda offers pointed prose in stories full of adventure and off-balance humor.