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The Bad Girl

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2007

    Bad, Bad Girl

    I really enjoyed this novel. In fact, although comparisons are made to this as a takeoff of a modern Madame Bovary, I thought this was much better than the classic, and with much more interesting characters.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2008

    An outstanding novel from an outstanding writer

    I recently finished the novel after a marathon reading session. This was due to the novel's engrossing power. The narrator draws you in with his language and his ability to convince you that he is ready for change when in fact he never is ready, and the bad girl is incredible. Rarely does one see a character as develop or emotionally involving. I could not put the book down and finished it in two days. After I returned the copy to the library, I purchased it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    Extraordinary things happened in the summer of 1950 in the Barrio Alegre neighborhood of Lima, Peru. Whereas everyone seemed to be falling in and out and in of love, the premier event at least in the mind of resident Ricardo Somocurcio is the arrival of the two teenage sisters, fourteen or fifteen years old Lily and her slightly younger sibling Lucy. The pair claimed to have come from Chile and Ricardo quickly fell in love with Lily. However, when their claims of escaping their homeland prove false, they vanish leaving Ricardo heartbroken.-------------- Several years later in Paris, Peruvian expatriate Ricardo meets exiled Cuban activist ¿Comrade Arlette¿ whom he knew as Lily though she denies it once again he falls in love with her until she leaves him behind. As the years go by, he keeps meeting his Lily as she becomes Madame Robert Arnoux the wife of a UNESCO official and Kuriko the mistress of a Japanese businessman. Each time they meet she treats him with icy aloofness as he hopes she makes this encounter a wonderful thing because he cherishes his Lily even if he does not know who she really is.------------ THE BAD GIRL is a fascinating character study that affirms that as you grow older you can only go home to your youth in your memories. Lily and Ricardo are interesting protagonists as the audience never knows who either truly is as Lily remains an enigma throughout and Ricardo no longer has his Peruvian roots to ground him. Their relationship over the years never changes even as she denies each time that she was who he claims she was. Always providing an intelligent thought provoking read, Mario Vargas Llosa writes an odd entertaining tale of two people adrift in a sea of humanity that is also drifting along the ebb tide with memories as the only anchor.--------------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Elegant, Emotional, and Evocative

    The Bad Girl presents the character of a woman with whom the narrator, "Ricardo", becomes involved, first during adolescence, but then at various times throughout his life, and under such guises that we are never completely convinced about who she really is. Elegantly presented against the backdrop of political and cultural change not only in the author's native Peru but also in France, England, Japan, and Spain, spanning a period of about fifty years. His proposals of marriage having been consistenly rejected with each encounter, despite his infatuation with "the bad girl", the narrator remains a kind of "saint" in her life, to whom she can turn because he maintains stability and because, as she says, "You are the only person I can trust." Having developed over time a kind of modernized Narcissus-and-Goldmund relationship with the bad girl, the narrator's constancy, mercy, and forgiveness of the bad girl's depravities and degradations seems analogous to that of a priest, a confessor, and a Christ figure. Be warned: you may desire to see redemption here, but you will be rewarded only with ambiguity and loose ends. Sounds like life to me. The book is intensely evocative, moving, and profound, worthy of a Nobel Prize winner in Literature. I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    Fantastic

    This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Great story, real characters and wonderful writing. I was along for the ride from page one and not disappointed. Give The Bad Girl a try!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A predictable tale told in a way that will keep you reading

    Mario Vargas Llosa takes a predictable tale, fleshes out the work with side stories to keep the reader interested and moves us through a story of love that follows a boy from his teen years through retirement. All through his life, he keeps meeting this woman who, as a teen, captivated him when he was a teen. She adapts who she is for the circumstances she finds herself in but is never what she claims to be. She never stays with him very long. At first, she seems to enjoy teasing him with sex. We are always left wondering does she love him or simply loves having him tell her of his love for her? Will she ever stay with him?

    This story is well written showing the skill of the author. The tale is one that has appeared in other guises yet the author does it in a manner that will keep you reading. You will suspect that his love will never be his. Yet you will wonder just how will she reappear the next time.

    Yes, this is a story that I think most will enjoy both for the story itself and the skill of the author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    This story tugged hard at several emotions.  I found myself caug

    This story tugged hard at several emotions.  I found myself caught up in the one sided love story and didn't know if I should love of despise the bad girl.  I really enjoyed this novel.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Didn't love it

    At first this book seems like a blatant rip-off of Great Expectations. There's not much of a plot to speak of and the characters are by and large either flat or loathsome. Clearly this went over my head.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    GREAT BOOK!! ITS TAKES A LOT TO BE A BAD GIRL LIKE THIS CHICK! GREAT BOOK! AMAZING HOW SHE WAS ABLE TO DO WHAT SHE DID AND HE STILL FOUND HER ALWAYS AND LOVED HER TILL THE END

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    A love story minus the cheese

    "The Bad Girl" is one of those books that epic stories are made of, and I bet that anyone who will read it will find it hard to put down.

    Ricardo Somocurcio, a Peruvian expatriate whose goals in life are to live in Paris and be with the woman he's known and loved since he was a teenager, is the kind of character women wish was real. His bad girl is the character readers will love to hate as she tortures him and brutally takes advantage of his love for her.

    At times I found myself getting really frustrated with Ricardo's naivete when it came to the bad girl, but unwavering love is after all the theme of this novel. Ricardo's devotion, however, is only what makes him a perfect character in the writing sense. I can't help but think of Ernest Hemmingway and his tradition of creating characters with a weakness he loved to place all kinds of stress and pressure on in order to create conflict, which is very much the case in "The Bad Girl". Such characters are the quintessential homo fictus types all writers dream of creating with the impeccable skill that Mario Vargas Llosa possesses and demonstrates in this novel that moves at a perfect pace and never leaves the reader feeling bored.

    Llosa writes about love in all its beauty and ugliness, and trust me, love is ugly when someone like the bad girl is a subject.

    Aside from the not-so-cheesy love story, the way with which Llosa weaves world history into a very personal account of a very well fleshed out character is eye-opening; it is what makes this novel above being just about a guy who let a woman walk all over him. Llosa is a skilled writer and storyteller who can create characters that enter your world and become so real while you read, that when it's time to say goodbye to them it's as hard as saying goodbye to a group of friends you spent a lot of time with and who must pack up and leave.

    I was sad to see this book end and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an account of a love that is one in a bazillion-- it's for all the romantics out there who still believe in the power of love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

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