I loved this book and read it compulsively in one evening. It's the semi-autobiographical story of 18 year old Mario, working at a cobbled-together radio station in early 1950s Lima, and a nominal student of law to please his family. He wants only "to be a writer", agonising over short stories "in the style of Hemingway". When the eccentric Pedro Camacho comes to write serials for the radio station, he meets a totally different kind of writer, one whose colourful stories are tapped directly into the typewriter for ten hours a day, when he's not acting them live himself. At the same time, Mario falls for his 32 year old "Aunt Julia", as she is always referred to even though she is only the ex-wife of a relative. The narrative follows their blossoming relationship, alternating with chapters drawn from Pedro Comacho's serials.
I willingly admit to not being as much an intellectual as many of the other reviewers, and would have probably enjoyed Aunt Julia just as much if the Pedro Camacho chapters had been taken out (his independent stories, I mean, not the character himself). It could stand alone very well; a sweet and witty story full of vignettes and great characters. I also lost patience somewhat with the mixing-up and disintegration of the stories. And I was a bit puzzled and disappointed with what became of Pedro Camacho at the very end; I feel the author could have given him an innovative but more dignified destiny; the little oddball had really grown on me! Even so, I still give Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter 5 stars - a wonderful, engaging read that wears its intelligence lightly, and probably the only book most people are going to read set in Lima, Peru!