Even if you never heard of him, it would take you just a look at the reviews of "Dom Casmurro" and "Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas" at Amazon to see that Machado de Assis leaves a lasting impression in his readers. He is certainly the best Brazilian writer ever, a universal master really. In this book, we never get to know if the name Quincas Borba refers to the philosopher or to his dog, yet it hardly matters: this is a book about ambiguity, after all. It is centered in the life of Rube (Rubiao), who inherits a fortune from the philosopher Quincas Borba, who dies at the beggining of the novel. However, even with all that money, he never manages to be happy - only starts to plunge deeper and deeper into madness. This book, together with the other two mentioned before, represents the best work of Machado de Assis. It's funny, it's clever, and it's beautifully written.