The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto
by Mario Vargas Llosa
Category: Fiction / General
312 pages; ISBN: 0-571-19575-X
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Ben Goodale
A real book by a real author. Vargas Llosa is the award winning Peruvian author, most famous for Aunt Julia & The Scriptwriter. This is very much a book by an author confident of his genre, capable in use of language, and masterful in execution of characters and storytelling.
The jacket says it`s disturbing, and it is. This is not a book for prudes, it is very erotic (ie there`s lots of arty sex), but the way it tells it makes it compelling and captivating. We read a story about the son of Don Rigoberto who has been the apparent cause of a break-up between the Don and his beautiful wife and stepmom to young Fonchito, Dona Lucrecia.
In between the telling of the tale we read extracts from Don Rigoberto`s diary about his life and love with Dona Lucrecia. As the story draws us in we learn more about the strange life the Don and Dona lead, and become ensnared within the game the somewhat malevolent but perhaps well meaning Fonchito plays with their feelings.
Vargas Llosa writes with lucidity, set in a modern Lima which in his world could be anywhere (this is the Peru of the rich). The translation is excellent. The characters have real depth, and most readers will begin to squirm as they read as Fonchito tricks the well-meaning Dona, and wonder what he`s up to.
Very enjoyable, but not a light read!
Buy The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto at amazon.co.uk
Buy The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto at amazon.com