The Bad Girl

The Bad Girl

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312427764
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 10/28/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 311,397
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About 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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The Bad Girl 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
DennisColeman More than 1 year ago
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.
chorn369 on LibraryThing 27 days ago
The male teenage protagonist of this book falls in love with a Chilean girl (or is she?) living in an upper class neighborhood in Lima, Peru in the 1960s. The mercurial girl slips away, and he never expects to see her again--but he does, in London several years later, married to a minor English royalty type. The "Bad Girl" in this book is a survivor, who unabashedly uses her wily sexuality to serially snare a whole United Nations gallery of subsequent husbands. She's outrunning something, and the secret is shared near the book's end. Never far behind is her teenage paramour, who will seemingly do anything--anything! for even just a stolen moment with the bad girl. The book is as much about coming of age in and the culture of the 60s, 70s, and 80s as about obsessive love and surviving one's beginning station in life,
gwendolyndawson on LibraryThing 27 days ago
This novel paints a panoramic history of four decades of South American and European life as the story traces Ricardo's love for "the bad girl." The characters are not particularly complex, and I never really believed the love story, but I enjoyed the romp through the world.
summerinabaddon on LibraryThing 28 days ago
The Bad Girl is a thrilling ride through many countries and many decades. Ricardo first meets The Bad Girl as a young Chilean girl named Lily and immediately falls in love with her. Only to find out later that she is not Chilean or named Lily and she disappears from his life. Many years later he runs in The Bad Girl again, with a different identity and finds that he is still in love with her. This book is an epic love story that spans a lifetime and is an intriguing and thoughtful spin on the classic love story.
almigwin on LibraryThing 28 days ago
I was holding this book, and was asked if I liked it. Strangely, I couldn't think of an answer. It is beautifully written, and interesting, but the main characters are quite unappealing. It is a novel of sexual obsession, loneliness, greed, exploitation, the struggles of people who, for various reasons, don't belong, and the fluctuations of Peru between democracy and dictatorship. The trajectory of the novel is panoramic, and flows from Peru, to Paris, to many other places in Europe, to Japan, to Africa, but touching only lightly in each case. A bit of decor, a menu, a description of friends, acquaintances and neighbors all enrich it slightly, but the two main characters, to me, are incomprehensible. The hero, a translator/interpreter, who loves Paris and wants to live there forever has an obsession with a girl he met in Peru. She called herself Chilean then. She later masquerades as Mexican, Japanese etc., rather than admitting to be a Peruvian from the lower classes. She is described as delicate, sexually cold, and fierce in finding rich protectors, and taking advantage of them.The translator claims to love her, but to me it seems to be a sexual obsession, rather than love. He doesn't trust her, or respect her, and she offers him no affection and very little sexual release. But she fills his life and crowds out all other women. Her lies, thefts and other kinds of risk taking, include a sexual performance before her protector with the hero, but without his knowledge of the voyeur. This episode parts them but the 'bad girl' returns to the story, wounded, raped, impoverished and dying of cancer. This is like an old morality play where the sinners are punished. The writing, as always with Vargas LLosa is fluid, and the dialogue believable, but the main characters are so self destructive, that I can neither like them or believe them..
hemlokgang on LibraryThing 28 days ago
"The Bad Girl" was a wonderful read on multiple levels. It was definitely my favorite Llosa novel to date. He has written a love story which spans cultures, decades, and a lifetime. The bad girl and the good boy forever drawn and repelled by one another. What more could anyone ask for in a novel than a great plot, memorable characters, and wonderful writing. I highly recommend this book!
anterastilis on LibraryThing 28 days ago
Ricardo grows up in Peru in the 1940's, and his dream is to live in France. One day, he meets an intriguing girl named Lily. Lily is a wealthy Chilean girl who dazzles Ricardo and his friends for a fun teenage summer...until it is discovered that she's a fraud and she disappears. But Ricardo can't get her out of his mind.Years later, he is fulfilling his dream of living in Paris and working as an UNESCO translator. Lo and behold, Lily shows up: but with a different name, homeland, and purpose in life. Ricardo realizes he is just as in love with her as he was as a teenager in Peru. As the years go on, the Bad Girl flits into and out of his life.The Bad Girl is a master of disguise. Do we ever figure out who she really is, what her name is, where she's really from? I'll leave that mystery up in the air. She moves through the world like the queen of her own pirate ship, docking at the safe harbor of Ricardo whenever he's nearby. She keeps him enraptured for a lifetime and kept me fascinated for a whole novel. On the one hand, she's powerful as all hell: fearless mistress of her own destiny. Compared to Ricardo, living in his little Parisian apartment and translating - she's living la vida loca. But of course, things aren't always what they appear...especially if you're a master (or mistress) of disguise.I really enjoyed this novel. It was a fun whirlwind and filled with fascinating characters. Although Ricardo often felt duped and overwhelmed by the Bad Girl (as did I), I could understand why he lived in such awe of her. His obsession was justified and rewarded...every five years or so. I'm glad that I got to read this.Oh, and I turned it back into the library the day after I finished it: one day overdue. I was able to read all three books before they technically had to be back at the library. Yay!
Suedeani on LibraryThing 28 days ago
Very disappointing. The book felt very disjointed, a mystery , travelogue, political treatise and love story all mixed up and lacking a true focus. The language felt unwieldy too. Some of the sentences were too cumbersome and went on for whole paragraphs. Could see that a great writer was at work, but somehow it just didn't work for me.
troysworktable on LibraryThing 28 days ago
I liked The Bad Girl. I thought it well written and entertaining. The problem I have with it, however, is that the character of Ricardo is unbelievable. No one would suffer as much abuse as he does at the hands The Bad Girl and keep returning for more. It just doesn't ring true. (Unless he is a masochist, which doesn't match the rest of his character.)
lkothari on LibraryThing 28 days ago
"The Bad Girl" and her interruptions of the main character's life make for a fascinating read. The book traces their relationship over a lifetime, sometimes jumping ahead several years. I love Llosa and his writing evokes all the emotions--sadness, annoyance, happiness--without making you want to put the book down.
tcw on LibraryThing 28 days ago
this was fun, an interesting study of how Llosa looks back at the world from this age he's grown to, more so than a great story or a flawless book. The story follows a man through his adult life and his association with, well, a Bad Girl. I found the scenes set in his early adulthood a bit contrived, but still wonderful writing (at least in translation). Stick with it, Llosa hits his writing stride as the book progresses and the net result, the man delivers a gem. Enjoy.
sunqueen on LibraryThing 28 days ago
When a story takes you to exotic locations like Lima, France, Italy, London and Japan, you some how expect it to more interesting than as portrayed in this story. You also might expect to like, relate or at least sympathize with the main characters. It didn't happen here.
charlottem on LibraryThing 28 days ago
Great book, as all of Mario Vargas Llosa's books are.
lriley on LibraryThing 5 months ago
For me reading Vargas Llosa is almost always a pleasure. The bad girl revolves around two characters one of whom 'Lily' we first meet as a young girl in the Miraflores section of Lima, Peru and the other the narrator of the story Ricardo Somocurcio who also from affluent Miraflores is head over heels in love with her. Lily is believed by her classmates to be originally from Chile but after the birthday party of another classmate it becomes clear that she's been feeding them lies. Ricardo however is hardly put off but events will have it that their lives will take different paths. Ricardo dreams of living in Paris and having learned several languages becomes an interpreter and moves there. Over the length of the novel the two will come together off and on in Paris, London, Tokyo, Madrid and other locales. Ricardo dreams and hopes while the cynical and golddigging girl of his dreams does him and others one bad turn after another driven by her need to conquer a place in the world he finds her in various places, names and guises and stopping at nothing including her own degradation. Continually she falls back on Ricardo whenever a crisis comes along only to dump him later on when restless for new adventures.Maybe not one of VL's best works this is even so very very good. There is a point almost at the end when I feared the writer was in danger of losing his grip but as a matter of fact it seems he was toying with his readers almost like the bad girl toys with poor Ricardo. Overall I liked it very much--the international settings, the historical timelines that follow on the adventures of the two as they go through life, Mario's very fluid writing style. A very entertaining read and one day maybe who knows Mario will finally bring the Nobel back to Peru. It would be IMO well deserved.
Erika Go More than 1 year ago
I absolutely enjoyed reading this novel. In fact, I love it. The story and the characters are amazing. I felt all the emotions in this book. This one will stay with me forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CHRISNAZARIO More than 1 year ago
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