The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa
A Novel

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Synopsis

A New York Times Notable Book of 2007

"Splendid, suspenseful, and irresistible . . . A contemporary love story that explores the mores of the urban 1960s--and 70s and 80s."--The New York Times Book Review

Ricardo Somocurcio is in love with a bad girl. He loves her as a teenager known as "Lily" in Lima in 1950, when she flits into his life one summer and  disappears again without explanation. He loves her still when she reappears as a revolutionary in 1960s Paris, then later as Mrs. Richardson, the wife of a wealthy Englishman, and again as the mistress of a sinister Japanese businessman in Tokyo. However poorly she treats him, he is doomed to worship her. Charting Ricardo's expatriate life through his romances with this shape-shifting woman, Vargas Llosa has created a beguiling, epic romance about the life-altering power of obsession.


 

About Mario Vargas Llosa

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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. Edith Grossman has translated the works of the Nobel laureates Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez, among others. One of the most important translators of Latin American fiction, her version of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote is considered to be the finest translation of the Spanish masterpiece in the English language.
 
Published March 4, 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 252 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Bad Girl

Kirkus Reviews

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Though the novel sometimes feels like a semi-autobiographical summary of the author’s life, opinions and emotions, it’s energized by crisp writing, wry humor and a brilliantly deployed cast who variously enable, frustrate and mirror the experiences of the two principal characters.

Oct 15 2007 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

The New York Times

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“Extraordinary things happened during that summer of 1950. For the first time Cojinoba Lañas fell for a girl — the redhead Seminauel — and she, to the surprise of all of Miraflores, said yes.”

Oct 14 2007 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

The New York Times

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Once upon a time, in a novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, there was a good boy who fell in love with a bad girl.

Oct 14 2007 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop The first time Peruvian teenager Ricardo Somocurcio set eyes on t...

Aug 16 2008 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop In 1950, 15-year-old Ricardo becomes obsessed with an exotic, mys...

Aug 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa Faber £17.99, pp276 'I think the only way to write stories is to start with History - with a capital H,' wrote Mario Vargas Llosa more than 20 years ago in his seventh novel, The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta.

Jan 13 2008 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

The Guardian

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Mario Vargas Llosa's immense resources as a novelist are energetically applied to the surface of this tale of obsessive love - quick scene changes from one cosmopolitan location to another, lightning sketches of Peruvian political history, a bustling cast of eccentrics and revolutionaries, litera...

Jan 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

BC Books

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What happens when the love of your life is a very bad girl?

Oct 28 2007 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

BC Books

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“The truth was,” Ricardo muses, “there was something in her impossible not to admire, for the reasons that lead us to appreciate well-made works even when they’re perverse.” The Chilean girl, as it turns out, is not even from Chile – this was just a ruse and tall tale to give her notoriety in a n...

Oct 28 2007 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

Examiner

The Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa could easily place his novels in Mr. Greene’s two categories.

Oct 08 2010 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

The Bookbag

In a section of the novel clearly marked as taking place in the early 1980s, Ricardo begins to tell the reader about the bureaucracy of post-Soviet Russia, harking back to the days of Gorbachev – several years before Gorbachev had even taken the reins of power!

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Jack Fuller Miami Herald 4.5 of 5 Stars "This is the brilliance of Llosa's stunning story, for just when the depiction of bad girl as villain and Ricardo as hero seems fixed, Llosa erodes and reverses your perceptions.

Dec 03 2007 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

Marie Claire

This month, the book club debates obsessive love and its consequences in Mario Vargas Llosa's The Bad Girl, now out in paperback.

Oct 08 2008 | Read Full Review of The Bad Girl: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Bad Girl
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