A swindle, a crime without motivation, a myriad of chance encounters, and a denouement without a resolution all punctuate this novel. To me, Lafcadio is only one player who, frankly, has only two adventures. Also, adventure is his synonym for crime yet his first adventure is to rescue two children from a fire. So why have English translators retitled Gides novel from Les Caves du Vatican (Literal translation, The cellars of the Vatican)? The central theme that links all other actions is a bunko scheme that uses the pope as the device. In this machination you may recognize a tad of Dan Browns Angels and Demons. Oh yes, lets not forget the stirring chapter relating the tribulations of a traveler to rooming in hotels replete with bedbugs, fleas, mosquitoes, et al. But, in all fairness, I found this to be an interesting novel: on a par with The Counterfeiters.