Thursday, April 12, 2007

the last book I read

Aunt Julia And The Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa.

Interesting bloke, Mario Vargas Llosa - Peruvian novelist, one-time bosom buddy of legendary Colombian novelist and Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez.....their friendship ended in mysterious circumstances with a punch-up in a Mexican cinema 30-odd years ago; rumour has it there may have been a woman involved. He also ran for President of Peru back in the early 1990s and lost narrowly to Alberto Fujimori.

Anyway, back to the book.....although MVL's (as I like to call him) biography is relevant here, as this is a thinly disguised account of his own scandalous affair with and subsequent marriage to his Aunt Julia. The story of the affair and the couple's increasingly desperate attempts to find a way to get married despite the disapproval of the protagonist's parents is interspersed with the increasingly deranged soap-operatic radio serial scripts written by the protagonist's friend Pedro Camacho.

It's all highly entertaining stuff, though the ending is a bit odd - MVL did go on to divorce his Aunt Julia and marry his cousin Pauline, just as in the book. Pedro Camacho's descent into semi-madness is never adequately explained , though.


The Black Rabbit said...

The last book I read?

"The Dawkins Delusion" by Alister McGrath.

I think you'd like it bate!
Mwah ah ah ah aaahhhhh....!

Anonymous said...

Hello again. At last you have decided to read a decent book and comment about it. Bravo. This book is excellent.

Also, I'd like to know have you read any Haruki Murakami books: I think most of them are excellent.

Maybe you will just slate Murakami in the same way as Irving's masterpiece "APFOM" (and I suggest you re-read this book because I'm sure you'll think that it's a lot better than you remember..)

For information: RUBBER = caoutchouc(very difficult to remember how to spell this work in french and pronounced "cow-chew")

Ever tried chewing a cow?

electrichalibut said...

The only Haruki Murakami book I've read is A Wild Sheep Chase which I thought was very good. I had a bit of a splurge of Japanese books - I read Nip The Buds, Shoot The Kids by Kenzaburo Oe and Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (not her real name, I'm guessing) around the same time.

I think I might upgrade the Vonnegut discussion to a brief proper article. It's what he aould have wanted. And I can put a nice piccy in, just to keep you happy.

electrichalibut said...


Alister McGrath? Has he taken time out from impersonating David Beckham to write a book?