In Praise of the Stepmother

In Praise of the Stepmother

2.5 2
by Mario Vargas Llosa
     
 

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With meticulous observation and the seductive skill of a great storyteller, Vargas Llosa lures the reader into the shadow of perversion that, little by little, darkens the extraordinary happiness and harmony of his characters. The mysterious nature of happiness and above all, the corrupting power of innocence are the themes that underlie these pages, and the author

Overview

With meticulous observation and the seductive skill of a great storyteller, Vargas Llosa lures the reader into the shadow of perversion that, little by little, darkens the extraordinary happiness and harmony of his characters. The mysterious nature of happiness and above all, the corrupting power of innocence are the themes that underlie these pages, and the author has perfectly met the demands of the erotic novel, never dimming for an instant the fine poetic polish of his writing.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Oct.)
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.
From the Publisher

“Powerful, incendiary...Vargas Llosa is a master storyteller.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Vargas Llosa is a writer of promethean authority, making outstanding fiction in whatever direction he turns.... Erotically stimulating, artfully self-assured, In Praise of the Stepmother is a steamy as it is intelligent.” —Newsday

“Startling...Not only would an American presidential candidate not have written it but the National Endowment for the Arts wouldn't have given it a grant.” —The New Yorker

“The author is silky....Vargas Llosa has written a genuinely erotic story and a wicked parody of one.” —Los Angeles Times

“An elaborate and lushly written novel.” —USA Today

“Vargas Llosa has tickled all our notions of love and lust, felicity and perversity, teased all our ideas of innocence and self-consciousness, and nibbled playful and ambiguous at every romantic fancy, from the classical to the abstract, the ancient to the postmodern, the sacred to the profane.” —San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374175832
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/01/1990
Pages:
149
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 9.29(h) x 0.74(d)

Meet the Author

MARIO VARGAS LLOSA was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010 "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat." Peru's foremost writer, he has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor, and the Jerusalem Prize. His many works include The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The War of the End of the World, and The Storyteller. He lives in London.

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In Praise of the Stepmother 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bold and moving introduction to this amazing two book series