The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa
A Novel

78%

5 Critic Reviews

The English translation is by Edith Grossman who was recently awarded the International Latino Book Award for Best Fiction Translation. It is an engrossing translation of an engrossing novel.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

A subtle and enlightening novel about a neglected human rights pioneer by the Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa

In 1916, the Irish nationalist Roger Casement was hanged by the British government for treason. Casement had dedicated his extraordinary life to improving the plight of oppressed peoples around the world—especially the native populations in the Belgian Congo and the Amazon—but when he dared to draw a parallel between the injustices he witnessed in African and American colonies and those committed by the British in Northern Ireland, he became involved in a cause that led to his imprisonment and execution. Ultimately, the scandals surrounding Casement's trial and eventual hanging tainted his image to such a degree that his pioneering human rights work wasn't fully reexamined until the 1960s.

In The Dream of the Celt, Mario Vargas Llosa, who has long been regarded as one of Latin America's most vibrant, provocative, and necessary literary voices—a fact confirmed when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010—brings this complex character to life as no other writer can. A masterful work, sharply translated by Edith Grossman, The Dream of the Celt tackles a controversial man whose story has long been neglected, and, in so doing, pushes at the boundaries of the historical novel.

 

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 June 5, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 369 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Dream of the Celt
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Liesl Schillinger on Jun 22 2012

In his latest novel, “The Dream of the Celt,” the Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa unearths the achievements of this complicated man of conscience...

Read Full Review of The Dream of the Celt: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Julius Purcell on Jul 28 2012

What makes the novel readable is the character of Casement himself. A shy man, he does not baulk from facing down his enemies and, while shrinking from the abuses of power, can pull rank if he has to.

Read Full Review of The Dream of the Celt: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Giles Foden on Jun 08 2012

...this epic and often poetic novel delivers powerfully, giving a more rounded and authentic sense of one person's inner life and complexities than many biographies.

Read Full Review of The Dream of the Celt: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Jack Goodstein on Jun 20 2013

The English translation is by Edith Grossman who was recently awarded the International Latino Book Award for Best Fiction Translation. It is an engrossing translation of an engrossing novel.

Read Full Review of The Dream of the Celt: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Alan Cheuse on Jul 04 2012

...thick with carefully researched detail, the reader may find the going sometimes as tough as Casement's own trek across the difficult terrain of the Belgian Congo.

Read Full Review of The Dream of the Celt: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

Reader Rating for The Dream of the Celt
75%

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