Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weakest offering yet., 2 Sep 2008
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This review is from: The Bad Girl (Hardcover)
For me, this is definitely Vargas Llosa's weakest offering yet. Although entertaining enough, and written with his undeniable skill and style, this latest novel is well short of Vargas Llosa's normal high standards.
Essentially this novel is a story following the inextricably linked lives of the 2 main characters, across various continents and decades. Disappointingly, however, the underlying theme of the novel seems to be the author's desire to demonstrate his knowledge of all the countries in which he himself has lived over the various decades, rather than having any great story to tell. The story itself is threadbare, a poor man's Love in the Time of Cholera, and is essentially a ridiculous sequence of coincidental meetings between the writer and the nina mala. The novel crescendos to a farcical level, when the protagonist has a chance meeting with the nina's father in Peru.
Normally so insightful and probing, Vargas Llosa spends little time or care in examining or describing characters outside of the central plot.
Once I have overcome my disappointment, I will re-read some of his other works, so as not to leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
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3.6 out of 5 stars (14 customer reviews)
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