Short, atmospheric, tightly crafted, and subtle, The Chase is one of the greatest short novels of the 20th century: one of the classics of Latin American literature. Banned from publication and distribution in the United States during the cold war because its author is Cuban, it is consequently relatively unfamiliar to US readers. It is the classic that Fuentes and other Latin American authors claim to have inspired their later development of "magic realism," but isn't, in itself, really a magic realist novel, though it introduces many of the trademark literary techniques of magic realism, such as its treatment of time and history imbedded into a multi-dimensional psychologically-charged present. It is a philosophically-oriented, genre-defying tale, more in the tradition of Camus's The Stranger, structured on the surface as a thriller, but really something more nuanced, less obvious underneath. A man is being sought after by, at first, rather shadowy, unknown pursuers. As the novel progresses, we come to realize that "the chase" is concerned with deeper, less-visible prey.