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The Resource The discreet hero, Mario Vargas Llosa ; translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman

The discreet hero, Mario Vargas Llosa ; translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman

Label
The discreet hero
Title
The discreet hero
Statement of responsibility
Mario Vargas Llosa ; translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
Creator
Contributor
Author
Translator
Subject
Genre
Language
  • eng
  • spa
  • eng
Summary
"The Discreet Hero, 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 desires--which 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 vividly--and the cities become not merely physical spaces but realms of the imagination populated by his vivid characters" --
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ This magnificent Peruvian novelist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, moves away from the historical past, which he so richly—yet, admittedly, somewhat sluggishly—evoked in his most recent novel, The Dream of the Celt (2012), a biographical novel about Irish statesman Roger Casement. He now returns to his native land and his fantastically and lovingly created characters drawn from contemporary Peruvian society. The plot is complicated yet irresistible as the author follows the business and family difficulties of two businessmen, Felicito, who owns a trucking company in a small Amazonian town, and Ismael, who owns an insurance company in the capital city of Lima. Father-and-son conflict is the theme that connects the two story lines and ensures an unbreakable connection between this fabulously arresting novel and the fortunate reader who steps into its pages. Vargas Llosa, a soaring storyteller, mixes humor with solemnity, farce with seriousness, to arrive at novels that maintain a perfect balance between rigorous literary standards and free-for-all fun. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Vargas Llosa’s literary reputation has spread far and wide, particularly his renown for creating beautifully dynamic stories. -- Hooper, Brad (Reviewed 01-01-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 9, p36)
  • /* Starred Review */ Nobel laureate Llosa (The Feast of the Goat ) returns to smalltown Peru in this lyrical and witty new novel. The story revolves around two men: Felicà to Yanaque in Piura and Ismael Carrera in Lima. Don Felicà to, owner of a small transport company, is extorted for protection money, but steadfastly refuses to pay. Ismael is a wealthy septuagenarian who marries his housekeeper partly to spite his avaricious sons. After Ismael and his new wife disappear on a long honeymoon, his longtime employee Don Rigoberto is left to deal with the aftermath—and Ismael’s sons, appropriately dubbed “the hyenas.” Don Felicà to finds some consolation with his mistress, Mabel, until she, too, disappears. The alternating story lines eventually converge amid scandal, kidnapping, and death. Llosa populates the novel with many down-home characters from his previous novels—Lituma, Don Rigoberto, Lucrecia, Fonchito—and modern-day Peru itself plays an important role. Throughout, Llosa is a master of the slow build: he layers disparate, suspenseful, and competing stories into a larger, fuller narrative that seamlessly arrives at its satisfying conclusion. A vivid tale of fathers and sons, rich and poor, this novel gives the world another reason to celebrate Llosa. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed November 3, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 44, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ In his latest endeavor, Nobel Prize winner Vargas Llosa returns to his Peruvian roots and a contemporary milieu in two alternating narratives from the business world. In one, set in the author's famed Piura, Felà cito Yanaqué is being blackmailed; under no circumstances will he give in to the extortionists, even after one of his stores is burned and his mistress is kidnapped. In the other thread, Ismael Carrera marries his house servant Armida, a union that his two sons oppose vehemently even when the elderly Ismael suddenly dies; this story arc is padded somewhat by a secondary plot involving the ambiguity of an imaginary friend. In the author's typical style, the two story lines converge at the end when Armida seeks refuge from the two ungrateful stepsons in the home of her sister Gertrudis, who is Felà cito's wife. Felà cito and Ismael, each a "discreet hero," defend prudently if not stubbornly their sense of morality. Several characters (Sergeant Lituma, Don Rigoberto and his family) reappear from earlier novels, as does the effective narrative device of immersing flashbacks into the current conversation. Readers can follow each thread separately or embrace the entire novel sequentially, resulting in a different reading experience. VERDICT Well paced with a rhythm that gradually builds to the denouement, this is one of the most appealing and realistic Vargas Llosa novels. [See Prepub Alert, 9/15/14.]— Lawrence Olszewski, North Central State Coll., Mansfield, OH --Lawrence Olszewski (Reviewed November 15, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 19, p81)
  • The Nobel laureate weaves together the tragicomic misfortunes of two families and several friends in this tale of crime, passion and avarice. Vargas Llosa (The Dream of the Celt, 2012, etc.) turns from the broad historical and political concerns of his previous novel to look at how blood ties unravel when money and deceit come into play. In Lima, Peru, the wealthy, aged widower Ismael surprises everyone—not least his two wayward sons—by suddenly marrying his much younger housekeeper.When the newlyweds fly off on a long honeymoon, the sons' anger at losing their inheritance is directed at Rigoberto, Ismael's longtime employee and friend and one of the witnesses to the couple's furtive ceremony. The ensuing personal threats and legal wrangling add to Rigoberto's troubled preoccupation with his teenage son's reports that a dapper, possibly demonic man has been appearing out of nowhere and talking to him. In the nearby city of Piura, Felícito's peace of mind unravels when he receives an extortionate note that threatens his transport business and mistress. One of his two sons is a good fellow, the other anything but, and Felícito has never been sure he's the father of the scapegrace. As the plots move toward various resolutions, the reunion of two sisters fits right in with all the other pairings. The themes of paternity and filial respect get a good workout, with permutations touching on the self-made man, inherited wealth, marital tolerance and sex after 70. Felícito's is the stronger story, as he is the book's richest character, and Vargas Llosa spends much time walking him around a city the author once lived in, giving readers a true feel for the streets, sounds and ceaseless heat. This master storyteller ensures that the book is continually intriguing and charming. Yet taken together, the two narratives don't make a strong whole, rather more a theme and variation that can seem sometimes dangerously close to what Rigoberto at one point calls his side of the story: a soap opera.(Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2015)
Assigning source
provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10402659
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1936-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Vargas Llosa, Mario
Dewey number
863/.64
Index
no index present
LC call number
PQ8498.32.A65
LC item number
H4713 2015
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorDate
1936-
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Grossman, Edith
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Businessmen
  • Extortion
  • Peru
Target audience
adult
Label
The discreet hero, Mario Vargas Llosa ; translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First American edition.
Extent
326 pages
Isbn
9780374146740
Lccn
2014031209
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 889666310
  • (OCoLC)889666310
Label
The discreet hero, Mario Vargas Llosa ; translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First American edition.
Extent
326 pages
Isbn
9780374146740
Lccn
2014031209
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 889666310
  • (OCoLC)889666310

Library Locations

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      37.377573 -76.770995
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