Cover image for The neighborhood : a novel
Title:
The neighborhood : a novel
Author:
Vargas Llosa, Mario, 1936- author.
ISBN:
9780374155124
Edition:
First American edition.
Physical Description:
244 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"Originally published in Spanish in 2016 by Alfaguara Ediciones, Spain, as Cinco esquinas"--Verso.
Abstract:
"A thrilling tale of desire and Peruvian corruption swirls around a scandalous exposé that leads to murder From the Nobel Laureate comes a politically charged detective novel weaving through the underbelly of Peruvian privilege. In the 1990s, during the turbulent and deeply corrupt years of Alberto Fujimori?s presidency, two wealthy couples of Lima?s high society become embroiled in a disturbing vortex of erotic adventures and politically driven blackmail. One day Enrique, a high-profile businessman, receives a visit from Rolando Garro, the editor of a notorious magazine that specializes in salacious exposés. Garro presents Enrique with lewd pictures from an old business trip and demands that he invest in the magazine. Enrique refuses, and the next day the pictures are on the front page. Meanwhile, Enrique?s wife is in the midst of a passionate and secret affair with the wife of Enrique?s lawyer and best friend. When Garro shows up murdered, the two couples are thrown into a whirlwind of navigating Peru?s unspoken laws and customs, while the staff of the magazine embark on their greatest exposé yet. Ironic and sensual, provocative and redemptive, the novel swirls into the kind of restless realism that has become Mario Vargas Llosa?s signature style. A twisting, unpredictable tale, The Neighborhood is at once a scathing indictment of Fujimori?s regime and a crime thriller that evokes the vulgarity of freedom in a corrupt system."--Amazon.com
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Summary

Summary

A thrilling tale of desire and Peruvian corruption swirls around a scandalous exposé that leads to murder

From the Nobel Laureate comes a politically charged detective novel weaving through the underbelly of Peruvian privilege. In the 1990s, during the turbulent and deeply corrupt years of Alberto Fujimori's presidency, two wealthy couples of Lima's high society become embroiled in a disturbing vortex of erotic adventures and politically driven blackmail.

One day Enrique, a high-profile businessman, receives a visit from Rolando Garro, the editor of a notorious magazine that specializes in salacious exposés. Garro presents Enrique with lewd pictures from an old business trip and demands that he invest in the magazine. Enrique refuses, and the next day the pictures are on the front page. Meanwhile, Enrique's wife is in the midst of a passionate and secret affair with the wife of Enrique's lawyer and best friend. When Garro shows up murdered, the two couples are thrown into a whirlwind of navigating Peru's unspoken laws and customs, while the staff of the magazine embark on their greatest exposé yet.

Ironic and sensual, provocative and redemptive, the novel swirls into the kind of restless realism that has become Mario Vargas Llosa's signature style. A twisting, unpredictable tale, The Neighborhood is at once a scathing indictment of Fujimori's regime and a crime thriller that evokes the vulgarity of freedom in a corrupt system.


Author Notes

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." He has also won the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor. His many works include The Discreet Hero , The Feast of the Goat , The Bad Girl , and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter , all published by FSG.

Edith Grossman has translated the works of the Nobel laureates Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez, among others. Her version of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote is considered the finest translation of the Spanish masterpiece in the English language.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Llosa's lively novel belongs in the pantheon of guilty pleasures by Nobel winners. Set in the waning years of Alberto Fujimori's Peru, a time of "kidnappings, the curfew, blackouts, the whole nightmare," the novel is structured as a breezy thriller but takes as its real subject the crimes and corruption of the Fujimori regime and its enforcer, the mysterious "Doctor." It begins with Enrique Cárdenes, a wealthy engineer, receiving a visit from Rolando Garro, editor of the tabloid Exposed, regarding a salacious series of photographs of Enrique that have fallen into his possession and could be conveniently forgotten if Enrique chooses to invest in the yellow press. Outraged, Enrique violently rejects Rolando's overture. When the photos are published and Enrique appears on the cover "naked from head to toe," the scandal kills his reputation. When Garro turns up dead a few days later, Enrique is the prime suspect. While for most of the novel the prose is straightforward and in the manner of a page-turner, toward the end, Llosa includes an extended fugue of his trademark interweaved dialogue to great effect. Reminiscent of Pynchon's Inherent Vice in its use of genre fiction for higher purposes, this is an audacious and skillful novel. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

After A Discreet Hero (2015), Vargas Llosa stays on familiar Peruvian turf in this novel of intrigue and murder. A sleazy tabloid publisher is blackmailing Enrique Cardenas, a successful and influential mining engineer, with some compromising photos taken during an orgy with prostitutes. The publisher is brutally murdered, and Cardenas and another innocent victim, a senile former entertainer, are the suspects. The slain editor's successor daringly reveals that the assassination was discharged under the orders of the Doctor, the henchman of then president Alberto Fujimori (whom Vargas Llosa ran against in 1990), which brings about the downfall of the regime. In the meantime, Cardenas's wife is having an affair with his attorney's wife. The narration is fairly straightforward until Chapter 20, when Vargas Llosa indulges in one of his characteristic and long-lived techniques: the overlapping and interweaving of narrations across time. Verdict This new work from the Nobel Prize winner is a fast-paced and well-executed translation of his 2016 Cinco esquinas, literally Five Corners, a more accurate and certainly appropriate title since it pinpoints where the crucial actions transpire. A murder mystery with political overtones and the underlying power of the press, exquisitely wrought. [See Prepub Alert, 8/28/17.]-Lawrence Olszewski, North Central State Coll., Mansfield, OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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