i don't really understand spanish, so i had a little trouble with this book, although i don't think the few parts i couldn't understand had that great an impact on the story. i'm a little confused as to why a book with endless footnotes, would refuse to footnote the frequent foreign language parts, unless the author either assumed you spoke spanish, or wanted to force you to look it up. there were a few sentences in the book that were absolute magic, but overall it had too many forgettable ones. after reading books which have won multiple awards, i usually come away with an impression as to why the book has received such acclaim. here i just scratched my head.