A tale of two citiesPiura and Limarocked by scandal, and the disintegrating bonds of loyalty between the generations
Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa’s newest novel follows two fascinating characters whose lives are destined to intersect: neat, endearing Felícito Yanaqué, a small businessman in Piura, Peru, who finds himself the victim of blackmail; and Ismael Carrera, a successful owner of an insurance company in Lima, who cooks up a plan to avenge himself against the two lazy sons who want him dead.
Felícito and Ismael are, each in his own way, quiet, discreet rebels: honorable men trying to seize control of their destinies in a social and political climate where all can seem set in stone, predetermined. They are hardly vigilantes, but each is determined to live according to his own personal ideals and desireswhich means forcibly rising above the pettiness of their surroundings. The Discreet Hero is also a chance to revisit some of our favorite players from previous Vargas Llosa novels: Sergeant Lituma, Don Rigoberto, Doña Lucrecia, and Fonchito are all here in a prosperous Peru. Vargas Llosa sketches Piura and Lima vividlyand the cities become not merely physical spaces but realms of the imagination populated by his vivid characters.
A novel whose humor and pathos shine through in Edith Grossman’s masterly translation, The Discreet Hero is another remarkable achievement from the finest Latin American novelist at work today.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(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." He has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor. His many works include The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter.
One of our most celebrated translators of literature in Spanish, Edith Grossman has translated the works of the Nobel laureates Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez, among others. Her version of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote is considered the finest translation of the Spanish masterpiece in the English language.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
How likely is it that two men living hundreds of miles apart in Peru will interact at some point? Usually such an unlikely event will not take place, but that chance in a million occurs to Felicito Yanaque and Don Roberto. Each: the former, owner of a transport company, the latter a retired general manager of an insurance company, faces different problems. It all begins when Don Roberto’s former boss and friend Ismael Carrera asks him to be one of two witnesses to his marriage to his maid. The event is part of a plan to thwart the efforts of his twin sons to gain a hold on his fortune, and it sets off a maelstrom with repercussions on Don Roberto. Meanwhile, Yanaque is facing pressure from extortionists seeking protection money. Each, in his own way, has to step up to the plate and exhibit the strength and fortitude to live up to his own high standards and not yield to an easy way out. The novelist, a Nobel Prize Winner, tells a simple tale in plain language. It is an excellent translation. Pulling the threads together in an interesting conclusion, the writing ties together two disparate themes to a unified ending. Highly recommended.