Mario Vargas Llosa fails to capture me

After fighting every night to concentrate on “The Time of the Hero” by Mario Vargas Llosa, I realized that this book is just not intriguing enough for me.

In the past, I have been hooked on Vargas Llosa’s books dealing with themes like politics, incest, scandals and sex. Somehow, the story of students at a military academy in Miraflores, Peru, is not interesting enough. Yet again, I am one of those people who can’t put a book down until I am done reading the last sentence, so I have to get to the end of the book even if it takes me months.

For this reason, I decided to investigate the book a little bit more, but I couldn’t find any recent reviews since the book was published almost 40 years ago.

The New York Times has a review of the book on its archives, and it gives me a promise of rising action in the book– something to look forward to.

Some of the promises of the review are further criticism of the military institution, condemnation of society and juvenile delinquency.

Here is something I really look forward to:

During a field exercise employing live ammunition, on impulse Jaguar kills the weakling in his class. The school’s authorities carry out an investigation which turns into a whitewash, but another student is certain that he knows the killer. The student is aided by a young lieutenant on the faculty, but they find the system more than they can buck and are forced to withdraw their charges. The Jaguar has, of course, denied his guilt. Later, after he is beaten by a group of students not for his suspected act but because he was erroneously thought to have been the one who betrayed the students’ clandestine activities, the change begins in him.

Where I am now, the Jaguar is merely a rebellious student, but the promise of a killing makes reading the book worthwhile.

So I have decided to give Vargas Llosa a second chance. After all, he has never failed to capture my imagination and his writing style is so rich that the chance to read it is rewarding by itself.


1 Response to “Mario Vargas Llosa fails to capture me”

  1. 1 rw
    November 3, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    The novel is quite tedious for most part, though I am sure that you will find the last part of the novel better. Here is my short review of the novel.

    BTW, you have a good blog. Keep it up!

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