The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa

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Synopsis

Haunted all her life by feelings of terror and emptiness, forty-nine-year-old Urania Cabral returns to her native Dominican Republic - and finds herself reliving the events of l961, when the capital was still called Trujillo City and one old man terrorized a nation of three million. Rafael Trujillo, the depraved ailing dictator whom Dominicans call the Goat, controls his inner circle with a combination of violence and blackmail. In Trujillo's gaudy palace, treachery and cowardice have become a way of life. But Trujillo's grasp is slipping. There is a conspiracy against him, and a Machiavellian revolution already underway that will have bloody consequences of its own. In this 'masterpiece of Latin American and world literature, and one of the finest political novels ever written' (Bookforum), Mario Vargas Llosa recounts the end of a regime and the birth of a terrible democracy, giving voice to the historical Trujillo and the victims, both innocent and complicit, drawn into his deadly orbit.

 

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 November 13, 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 432 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Feast of the Goat

Kirkus Reviews

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Through a dexterous manipulation of rhetorical devices (notably, direct addresses to its characters by both an omniscient narrator and themselves) and shifting viewpoints (even within lengthy flashbacks), Vargas Llosa evokes a multiplicity of responses to the aforementioned characters—and especia...

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The New York Times

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The most distracting of these excursions involves the present-day homecoming of one Urania Cabral, the daughter of a former Dominican senator who gave his all to Trujillo but then lost favor.

Nov 25 2001 | Read Full Review of The Feast of the Goat

The Guardian

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The Feast of the Goat Mario Vargas Llosa Faber £16.99, pp404 His Excellency Generalissimo Dr Rafael L Trujillo Molina, 'The Benefactor', 'Father of the New Nation' - 'The Goat' - ruled the Dominican Republic with an iron will and an errant libido from 1930 until 1961.

Apr 07 2002 | Read Full Review of The Feast of the Goat

The Guardian

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The Feast of the Goat Mario Vargas Llosa, trans Edith Grossman 404pp, Faber, £16.99 Spanish-American novelists have had good reason, sad to say, to write dictator novels, and two rather different ways in which to go about it.

Apr 06 2002 | Read Full Review of The Feast of the Goat

Publishers Weekly

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Finally, Vargas Llosa crosscuts Urania's story and Trujillo's with that of Trujillo's assassins;

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Star Tribune

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Shuttling deftly between multiple viewpoints, Peru's greatest contemporary novelist paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of life in the Dominican Republic during the reign of dictator Rafael Trujillo.

Nov 03 2001 | Read Full Review of The Feast of the Goat

London Review of Books

The chapters now follow like clockwork, alternating but not exactly cross-cutting, because the separate storylines don’t have much to say to each other: Urania, Trujillo, conspirators, Urania, Trujillo, conspirators, in the same order until quite late in the book, when Trujillo is finally shot, a...

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Variety

She has come to confront her father, Agustin (Paul Freeman), formerly a high-ranking politico in the government of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo (Tomas Milian), onetime dictator but now 80 years old and infirm.

Feb 23 2006 | Read Full Review of The Feast of the Goat

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