In the 1970s, Eric Martin, a young attorney, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Eric finds hospitals and traditional treatments insensitive and ineffective, so he decides to gamble on an unproven but popular alternative: Laetrile, legally available to him only at a clinic in Mexico. While there, he befriends an unconventional Catholic priest who
introduces him to the mysterious world of spirits and shamanic healers. In a dreamworld populated with characters real and imagined, Eric discovers a life he'd formerly ignored in order to focus only on things of practical importance. In the course of treatment both at the clinic and by a curandera in a remote mountain village, Eric threads his way
among gangsters, drug dealers, corrupt politicians, greedy charlatans, and a principled scientist. In time, Eric's health improves, and he begins a new and surprising future. This remarkable story shifts between the ordinary and the extraordinary as it raises age-old existential contrasts--dream versus reality, optimism versus nihilism, and the
spiritual versus materialist view of humanity.