the read a myth challenge 2011


Now two great bloggers jov of biblojunkie and Bina of if you can read this have come up with a wonderfull challenge for 2011 to read books based round and about myths now I love books based on myths so jumped at the chance to join in .Now I d love some suggestions for some books on myths got few ideas but recommendations more than welcome along usual books of my choice in translation especially African be welcome .You can sign up here ,hope so sounds great fun


THE BAD GIRL BY Mario Vargas Llosa

Well I had this down to rea on my around the world in 52 books list .Having read a couple many years ago by him ,after seeing the aunt Julia film which had a great performance from Peter Falk .Well if you didn’t know Mario won this years Nobel prize being the first Nobel winner from south America since Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1982 .Mario Vargas Llosa was born in the Peruvian provinces in late thirties ,he went to military academy the subject of his first novel ,his books are both historic and have modern-day setting he often uses his own life experiences in his books .

The bad girl follows the life of Ricardo ,we meet him as a teenager in the 50’s in lima a love affair with lily or as in the title the bad girl starts and ends due to the difference in class etc ,Ricardo does well in his studies and ends up in paris working as a translator in numerous languages ,this is in the sixties so there is a backdrop of the city in the sixties with its protests and bohemian atmosphere ,Ricardo meets Comrade Arlette ,this women reminds him of lily in so many ways they have a passionate affair ,the book continues on the same path him traveling to different cities and meet women with the spirit of Lilly and having increasingly passionate and kinky love affairs .this takes us through london ,Tokyo back to peru and ending up in paris ,all this with a sparkling cast of friends including a mute boy .We see the history of times hippies ,seventies and Japans rise .

My only contact with Peru ,for by now I rarely saw Peruvians in paris ,continued to be the increasingly desperate letters from uncle Ataulfo and Aunt Delores always sent me regards in her own hand ,and from time to time I would send her scores for playing the piano was great diversion in her invalid life .

Ricardo family struggles at home in Peru unde General Alvarado’s dictatorship  .

Now I loved this Llosa has a real flow to his writing that draws you in bit by bit ,there is a lot of sex in this book but it is well written and helps the plot also gives you the true scope of the affair or affairs there is a question whether it is the same women or different women with the same spirit this isn’t answered but I felt form a man falls for the same spirit in different bodies ,the affair is a life long passion the encompasses the world ,these part the cities and times they were written really feel like they are from Llosa own life and that he’d been in paris and in London and Tokyo during the periods described in the book .Worthy nobel winner yes his books are always readable and  meaningful .Like Aunt Julia that was made into a film I could see this novel-making the move into a great film .The book is translated by Edith Grossman ,she has previously tranlated 5 of his books previously as you’d expect is perfection from the best translator of Latin American fiction

Have you read him ?

have you seen the films made of his books ?

October 2010


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