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La Fiesta del Chivo (Spanish Edition) by…
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La Fiesta del Chivo (Spanish Edition) (original 2000; edition 2013)

by Mario Vargas Llosa (Author)

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2,314704,134 (4.11)1 / 315
Member:hnn
Title:La Fiesta del Chivo (Spanish Edition)
Authors:Mario Vargas Llosa (Author)
Info:ALFAGUARA (2013), 528 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle
Rating:*****
Tags:latin america

Work details

The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa (2000)

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English (52)  Spanish (8)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Great historical fiction set in the violent reign of Trujillo. Alternating chapters tell the story of a woman returning to her home in the Dominican Republic to see her dying father whom she hates. The reader is not sure why she hates her father so much until the ending of the book, but she has valid reason.

The other chapters tell of the conspirators who assassinate Trujillo and the consequences for each of them. Some are honored, some are killed, some lose their will, and others disappear.

There is much history here accurately told. The character of Trujillo is chilling; he was man who did bring prosperity to the nation, but demanded the absolute loyalty from those around him. Those around him were tested constantly to prove their loyalty. The family of Trujillo is spoiled, violent, and equally as demanding.

The story caused me to research many of the characters portrayed and the information about them is almost stranger than fiction could be. The writing to this is engaging and it is a great example of the best of historical fiction.
The Latin names are often confusing; however, as they are not always referred to by the same name--sometimes a title, sometimes a nickname, etc. However, a great read. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 9, 2018 |
Libro #42 de la lista de los 100 libros de Pasión por la lectura.
http://www.pasionporlalectura.itesm.mx/que_leo/cultura_general.htm
  celia.castro | Oct 4, 2017 |
The Feast of the Goat takes its title from the nickname for Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo, the dictator whose 30-year reign of terror in the Dominican Republic ended with his assassination in 1961. Trained by the Marines, and long an anti-Communist client of the American government, Trujillo eventually became an isolated pariah. Like the younger Castro, whom the clean-cut, right-wing general despised, Trujillo encouraged a cult of personality that made him more than a simple head of state. The novel has three parallel narrative threads. In the current day, a woman whose father was a member of the Trujillo government is returning to her native land from the US for the first time in over 30 years. Through her eyes we see the long-term impact of the dictatorship. The other two narratives follow Trujillo, on the one hand, and his would-be assassins on the other. In each case there are flashbacks to fill in the picture of a country, its leaders, and its people after 30 years of brutality and corruption.

Though we meet him in the last hours of his life, old, embittered, ailing and besieged, he still sees himself as a soldier and regards the Haitians across the border as heathens to be purged and murdered. For more than three decades, Trujillo ruled the Dominican Republic with an iron fist. He cured the "Haitian problem" by having between 10,000 and 15,000 Haitians slaughtered.

There are extremely disturbing sexual and torture scenes that described his reign of terror. I had to skim some of those because they were just too much for me. Trujillo was an incredibly evil man but if you are interested in Caribbean politics this is a compelling but horrifying read. I think most people would rate it a bit higher than I did but I will try another of Vargas Llosa's books. It's easy to see why he won the 2010 Nobel prize for literature.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
Powerful and at times gripping, this is not what I’ve come to expect from novels from Latin/South American authors. In fact, this is the very first of the many I’ve read that I enjoyed and would recommend.

Based on the actual life of the Dominican dictator Trujillo, the novel centres around his assassination. One one side you have the build up, the background, the character formation, the development of the plot and, after the epicentre, the hiding, the clampdown, the reassessment of a nation’s identity, a twist and a resolution of sorts.

I’ve not read Vargas Llosa before, and I’m glad to find that there are others of his on the 1001 list. His writing is powerful and ingenious; the style he adopts for Goat cleverly blurs the lines between a character’s present and their recollection. In places it’s very fluid, and I enjoyed just going with it.

The characters are strongly defined and none more so than the portrait of Trujillo we see here. He is introduced to us as he awakens from nightmares, we see him rule with an iron rod, but we also see him terrified at the trauma of a bladder problem and horrified at hints of his sexual inadequacy.

Others we see only one side of. Johnny Abbes, the head of the secret police, is despicable throughout. The “Constitutional Sot” is opaque and politically deft, and Urania is a locked box, emotionally numb and filled with hatred. None of the main characters is forgettable.

In all, it left me insight into not only some of the history of Latin America in the mid-twentieth century, but more evidence of how messed up we are. And with so much of that lacking in the news these days, novels like these are great to get into when you feel like your faith in humanity is in any danger of being restored. ( )
  arukiyomi | May 26, 2017 |
Mario Vargas Llosa's book "The Feast of the Goat" was a brutal read, but ultimately an interesting one. I probably wouldn't have read this if it hadn't been on the list of 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die, but it was certainly a worthwhile book.

The novel tells the story of Rafael Trujillo, a dictator who ruled the Dominican Republic for 30 years with an iron fist. He pitted his advisers and friends against each other and demanded adoration from the all in his country.

The novel is not an easy read-- there are torture scenes that a fairly disturbing, which I mostly skimmed over. However, I found the portrait of the Trujillo and his "friends" to be well done and very relevant to today's world. ( )
  amerynth | Apr 28, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mario Vargas Llosaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bensoussan, AlbertTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grossman, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Синянская, ЛюдмилаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
El pueblo celebra con gran entusiasmo la Fiesta del Chivo el treinta de mayo.
Mataron al Chivo
Merengue Dominicano
Dedication
A Lourdes y José Israel Cuello, y a tantos amigos dominicanos
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Urania. Her parents had done her no favor; her name suggested a planet, a mineral, anything but the slender, fine-featured woman with burnished skin and large, dark, rather sad eyes who looked back at her from the mirror.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312420277, Paperback)

Mario Vargas Llosa, a former candidate for the presidency of Peru, is better placed than most novelists to write about the machinations of Latin American politics. In The Feast of the Goat he offers a vivid re-creation of the Dominican Republic during the final days of General Rafael Trujillo's insidious and evil regime. Told from several viewpoints, the book has three distinctive, alternating strands. There is Urania Cabral, the daughter of Trujillo's disgraced secretary of state, who has returned to Santo Domingo after more than 30 years. Now a successful New York lawyer, Urania has never forgiven her aging and paralyzed father, Agustín, for literally sacrificing her to the carnal despot in the hope of regaining his political post. Flipping back to May of 1961, there is a group of assassins, all equally scarred by Trujillo, waiting to gun the Generalissimo down. Finally there is an astonishing portrait of Trujillo--the Goat--and his grotesque coterie. Llosa depicts Trujillo as a villain of Shakespearean proportions. He is a preening, macho dandy who equates his own virility with the nation's health. An admirer of Hitler "not for his ideas but for the way he wore a uniform" (fittingly he equips his secret police force with a fleet of black Volkswagen Beetles), Trujillo even has his own Himler in Colonel Abbes Garcia, a vicious torturer with a predilection for the occult.

As the novel edges toward Trujillo's inevitable murder, Urania's story gets a bit lost in the action; the remaining narratives however, are rarely short of mesmerizing. Trujillo's death unleashes a new order, but not the one expected by the conspirators. Enslaved by the soul of the dead chief, neither they nor the Trujillo family--who embark on a hideous spree of bloody reprisals--are able to fill the void. Llosa has them all skillfully outmaneuvered by the puppet-president Joaquín Belaguer, a former poet who is the very antithesis of the machismo Goat. Savage, touching, and bleakly funny, this compelling book gives an all too human face to one of Latin America's most destructive tyrants. --Travis Elborough, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Publisher description: It is 1961. The Dominican Republic languishes under economic sanctions the Catholic church spurs its clergy against the government from its highest ranks down, the country is arrested in bone-chilling fear. In The Feast of the Goat, Vargas Llosa unflinchingly tells the story of a regime's final days and the unsteady efforts of the men who would replace it. His narrative skates between the rituals of the hated dictator, Rafael Trujillo, in his daily routine, and the laying-in-wait of the assassins who will kill him their initial triumph and the shock of fear's release--and replacements. In the novel's final chapters we learn Urania Cabral's story, self-imposed exile whose father was Trujillo's cowardly Secretary of State. Drawn back to the country of her birth from 30 years after Trujillo's assassination, the widening scope of the dictator's cruelty finds expression in her story, and a rapt audience in her extended family. In The Feast of the Goat, Vargas Llosa weighs the burden of a corrupt and corruptive regime upon the people who live beneath it. This is a moving portrait of an unrepentant dictator and the unwilling citizens drawn into his orbit.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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