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Conversacion en la Catedral: Bolsillo (Spanish Edition) (Spanish) Paperback – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Santillana USA Publishing Company; Poc edition (October 2001)
  • Language: Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 8466304568
  • ISBN-13: 978-8466304566
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MARIO VARGAS LLOSA was born in Arequipa, Peru, in 1936. In 1958 he earned a scholarship to study in Madrid, and later he lived in Paris. His first story collection, The Cubs and Other Stories, was published in 1959. Vargas Llosa's reputation grew with the publication in 1963 of The Time of the Hero, a controversial novel about the politics of his country. The Peruvian military burned a thousand copies of the book. He continued to live abroad until 1980, returning to Lima just before the restoration of democratic rule.

A man of politics as well as literature, Vargas Llosa served as president of PEN International from 1977 to 1979, and headed the government commission to investigate the massacre of eight journalists in the Peruvian Andes in 1983.

Vargas Llosa has produced critical studies of García Márquez, Flaubert, Sartre, and Camus, and has written extensively on the roots of contemporary fiction. For his own work, he has received virtually every important international literary award. Vargas Llosa's works include The Green House (1968) and Conversation in the Cathedral (1975), about which Suzanne Jill Levine for The New York Times Book Review said: "With an ambition worthy of such masters of the 19th-century novel as Balzac, Dickens and Galdós, but with a technical skill that brings him closer to the heirs of Flaubert and Henry James . . . Mario Vargas Llosa has [created] one of the largest narrative efforts in contemporary Latin American letters." In 1982, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter to broad critical acclaim. In 1984, FSG published the bestselling The War of the End of the World, winner of the Ritz Paris Hemingway Award. The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta was published in 1986. The Perpetual Orgy, Vargas Llosa's study of Flaubert and Madame Bovary, appeared in the winter of 1986, and a mystery, Who Killed Palomino Molero?, the year after. The Storyteller, a novel, was published to great acclaim in 1989. In 1990, FSG published In Praise of the Stepmother, also a bestseller. Of that novel, Dan Cryer wrote: "Mario Vargas Llosa is a writer of promethean authority, making outstanding fiction in whatever direction he turns" (Newsday).

In 1990, Vargas Llosa ran for the presidency of his native Peru. In 1994, FSG published his memoir, A Fish in the Water, in which he recorded his campaign experience. In 1994, Vargas Llosa was awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor, and, in 1995, the Jerusalem Prize, which is awarded to writers whose work expresses the idea of the freedom of the individual in society. In 1996, Death in the Andes, Vargas Llosa's next novel, was published to wide acclaim. Making Waves, a collection of his literary and political essays, was published in 1997; The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto, a novel, was published in 1998; The Feast of the Goat, which sold more than 400,000 copies in Spanish-language, was published in English in 2001; The Language of Passion, his most recent collection of nonfiction essays on politics and culture, was published by FSG in June 2003. The Way to Paradise, a novel, was published in November 2003; The Bad Girl, a novel, was published in the U.S. by FSG in October, 2007. His most recent novel, El Sueño del Celta, will be published in 2011 or 2012. Two works of nonfiction are planned for the near future as well.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marcos E. Milla on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is arguably Vargas Llosa's biggest accomplishment to date, his opus magnum, and one of Peru's fundamental novels. Usually reviewed as a political novel presenting a masterful portrait of an archetypical Latin American regime of the fifties (corrupt, manipulative of media, ruthless in its oppression), Conversacion en La Catedral has a deeper layer that is more compelling: the destruction of the father image. Zavalita's dad lives a double life, one as a model citizen and family man in public, and another as a key member of the brutal regime and a closet homosexual (what could possibly be worst to peg on a male Latino from the fifties?). Even before finding out dad's dark secrets, Zavalita chooses the life of an outcast, rejecting his family's -his class- definition of success. In placing him in that role, Vargas Llosa brilliantly establishes a vehicle to expose traditional Peruvian perceptions on respectability, achievement in life and morality. Vargas Llosa's true accomplishment is that he lets the reader arrive to conclusions without any intent to introduce his own opinions or ideology, a chronic problem with Peruvian writers chosing politics as inspiration: Jose Maria Arguedas, Ciro Alegria, Manuel Scorza, many others. I do not think Vargas Llosa ever came close to this one again, it is a soul-baring novel of great intensity, impossible to put down. Entirely worthy of a Nobel Prize, a must read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tony Chavez Uceda on April 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Que se puede decir sobre esta monumental obra, como elogiar con justicia su perfecta redaccion, su trama envolvente, su estructura, de apariencia caotica, pero magistralmente hilvanada, que envuelve irremediablemente al lector, su critica y razonamiento preciso de los errores que hemos cometido los peruanos, no solo en el nefasto ochenio de Odria, si no en todas las dictaduras, incluyendo la de Fujimori. Vargas Llosa ha creado un enorme monumento literario, muy dificil de superar y que se seguira leyendo durante muchisimo tiempo.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Travis on June 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have several favorite authors, Vargas Llosa, Dumas, Steinbeck, and Faulkner among others. But, in the list of books that I've read, this takes the number 2 spot. One of the most amazing works of literature I've ever read.

I took a class on Vargas Llosa and read 9 novels of his in one semester. This book, and Fiesta del Chivo are the two best by Mr. Vargas Llosa. I think it important to not that this really is not an easy book to read, especially when Spanish is not your native language (Vargas Llosa in general is a very hard author to read, much like Faulkner). If you have the time to work through this book I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gloma on August 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Definitely Vargas Llosa master piece. Two intertwined stories, one in the past and one in the present, about politics, family ties and more that will captive you. If you have an intermediate level of Spanish, this book might challenge you.
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By Ariel Gutierrez Buchting on November 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
me gustan mucho las obras de Vargas Llosa, pero esta es un poco compleja para mi gusto. una variedad de personajes y escenarios que a lo largo del desarrollo fuerzan tener buena memoria o regresar paginas para poder ubircarnos. Sin embargo, el estilo unico del autor, una excelente redaccion y descripcion resulta en una obra recomendable.
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