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In Praise of the Stepmother Paperback – October 1, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Don Rigoberto and his second wife arouse each other by telling highly eroticized classic myths based on the six well-known paintings reproduced here in color; meanwhile, Rigoberto's seemingly cherubic young son, Alfonso, cunningly seduces his stepmother. "This lapidary novella by the celebrated Peruvian writer reflects an artistry of almost infinite sophistication," said PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Vargas Llosa's brief novel dramatizes--but in most undramatic terms--an erotic triangle involving a self-absorbed if passionate widower, his voluptuous new wife, and his young son. Set forth as a series of tableaux inspired by master paintings (reproduced here in color), the novel eventually reveals itself as the actual instrument by which the son destroys his father's new marriage. Vargas Llosa's novel The Storyteller ( LJ 9/15/89) won high praise, but Stepmother --static and obsessive as it is--conveys none of the excitement of his best work. Perhaps he has been distracted; most recently, the author was an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of Peru. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/90.
-Grove Koger, Boise P.L., Id.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
I'ma book junkie but it is often hard to find books that can catch and kkeep my attention, Ido a lot of my book hunting at thrift stores and such and a while back I came acrossthis book.. After buying it from a small bookstore and reading most of it , the book was stolen from me (yes it is that good of a story) so after finding it here for so cheap I HAD to repurchase because (YES it is THAT GOOD) d that's just from reading the first few chapters ! Lolzz
If you like taboo then this is a great book, the author himself is a written genius if u as me !
It was hard to tell the period in which the novel is set. The story opens with the feel of a time before Christ however, as it progress, it becomes obvious that even the setting is not as it appears. Throughout the story Llosa uses the paintings of various artists, from the 15th through the 20th centuries, to augment the text. This technique allows Llosa to explore the motives of his characters through the figures in the portraits and heightens the creative feel of the text. "In Praise of the Stepmother" was an enjoyable read for me. I'm already looking forward to the moments of dejavu that I'm sure to experience in Peru as a result of my encounter with its most renowned writer. Bravo!
But Don Rigoberto has a son, Alfonso, an angelic looking cherub, affectionate and seemingly guileless. All he wants is the love of his stepmother and Lucrecia finds herself torn between the love she feels for the boy and how she thinks she ought to treat him.
The events in the final chapters changed my view of the characters and the events that had taken place in the preceding chapters. The genius of Llosa is highlighted in the way he exposes the darker motivation behind the actions taken by his characters.
It wasn't a book I was entranced with at the beginning, but I was wowed by the time I arrived at the last page.
Most recent customer reviews
The author has not hesitated to use wide ranging language that is not often found in many novels nowadays.Read more