Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
'narratives of Mario are nourished by the life around him...Camacho by the fantasies engendered by his disintegrating mind
on 4 August 2014
Weird and wonderful construction of a novel: in alternate chapters we follow the author's account of his young life in Lima, studying law and starting a forbidden relationship with his (much older and divorced) 'Aunt' Julia. Much more important to him than his studies, are his first efforts at writing, and his job as news editor for a local radio station. And this is where the second strand of the novel comes in. Because one day the station hires a Bolivian writer of radio soap operas - the driven but outlandish Pedro Camacho:
'He's not a man, he's an industry!...He writes all the stage plays put on in Bolivia and acts in all of them. And he also writes all the radio serials, directs them, and plays the male lead in every one of them.'
The alternate chapters are sensationalist stories from Camacho's soap operas (highly entertaining). We pretty soon see a link between these stories, in that each features a man in his 50s with 'broad forehead, aquiline nose, penetrating gaze, the very soul of rectitude and goodness', be he a police inspector, doctor or vermin controller. But as time goes on, Camacho's stories start to become intertwined...
Very enjoyable and readable.