HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Time of the Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa
Loading...

The Time of the Hero (1962)

by Mario Vargas Llosa

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8712110,199 (3.74)1 / 56
  1. 10
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (secretagentx9)
    secretagentx9: Both explore coming of age themes and look at the underlying causes of violence and brutality.
  2. 00
    From Here to Eternity by James Jones (StevenTX)
    StevenTX: Both novels look at the brutality of military life and show young men conflicted between duty and love.
  3. 00
    L'Ecrivain by Yasmina Khadra (juan1961)
    juan1961: Otra historia sobre la vida en un colegio militar
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (10)  Spanish (8)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Vargas Llosa’s first novel, written in 1963 when he was 27, shows his talent as a novelist. It centers on a group of young cadets in the Leoncio Prado Military Academy, which he himself attended from the age of 14 to 16, and the underworld of violence and drinking there.

The young men are frequently cruel and engage in some pretty disgusting acts (I’m tempted to describe one of them that occurs 33 pages in, but I’ll refrain from doing so). However, I don’t think this was the reason that the book caused an immediate outrage and ceremonial book burnings in Peru when it was published; I think it’s because it showed the sordid reality of life as a cadet, and the hypocrisy and corruption in the leaders of the academy.

While there is bullying and jealousy over girls that leads to violence, there are no heroes or villains here, and that’s to Vargas Llosa’s credit. It’s very strange to me that the English title was made “The Time of the Hero” in light of this; the original is quite simply “The City and the Dogs” in Spanish. Vargas Llosa uses multiple narrators and interleaved flashbacks, occasionally dabbling in stream of consciousness writing, and shows understanding of the psychology for all of his characters. In an understated way he explains their pasts and what formed them, and he also shows the sense of honor that some of them have despite their heinous outward actions. I also liked the ‘surprise’ which he cleverly builds up over the back half of the book.

Just this quote, in the preface, from Sartre:
“We play the part of heroes because we’re cowards, the part of saints because we’re wicked: we play the killer’s role because we’re dying to murder our fellow man: we play at being because we’re liars from the moment we’re born.” ( )
1 vote gbill | Jun 7, 2014 |
Ho comprato questo libro nel 1985, ristampa Rizzoli, prima edizione. Ricordo di averlo iniziato e mollato subito. Per una curiosa coincidenza lo avevo ripescato dallo scaffale pochi giorni prima dell'annuncio del Nobel. Dello stesso autore avevo letto un paio d'anni fa Avventure della ragazza cattiva, che mi aveva incantata. E così ho ripreso questo suo primo libro, e devo dire che valeva davvero la pena. Nel 1985 non avrei potuto leggerlo. era una prosa, un modo di narrare inusuale, molto in anticipo sui tempi. Prima e terza persona, passato e presente, molti punti di vista, molti piani narrativi. Incredibile scrivere un romanzo corale così e dominarlo saldamente. Certo anche il lettore deve lasciarsi condurre, non è un libro per chi ama la prosa facile e il susseguirsi cronologico. E' un libro impegnativo. Ne esce un quadro di gioventù dolente, in alcuni tratti bisogna togliere un attimo gli occhi dalle pagine e guardare altrove. Consigliato ai mega-lettori.
  Lilliblu | Aug 4, 2012 |
Vargas Llosa's first novel demonstrates many of the techniques and themes of his later novels, including multiple (often confusing) narrators, class, race, and sex, but for me it was a less thrilling read than his later works. Set in a military academy for cadets (one which Vargas Llosa himself attended), the novel is a scathing indictment of such academies and implicitly the military itself, leavened by satire. I found the first third or so of the book difficult to read as it details the sadistic and horrifying way the cadets treat each other and introduces many characters all at once. Then, once one of the cadets as been killed, the book becomes more readable, and explores betrayal, loyalty, honesty, and hypocrisy. The story of what happens in the academy is mixed with scenes of some of the cadets back in their homes, both before and after their time in the academy. As I neared the end of the novel, I found it hard to put down.

Incidentally, Vargas Llosa is said to have disliked the English title; the Spanish title translates literally as "The City and the Dogs" and is a much better title ("dogs" is the nickname of the first-year cadets).
3 vote rebeccanyc | Mar 20, 2011 |
The Time of the Hero is an unflinching examination of the lives of cadets in a Peruvian military academy. The story is told in a mixture of third and first person narration from the point of view of several of the boys. It is not always obvious, especially at first, which boy is narrating a given passage. They come from a variety of backgrounds: rich kids, peasants, and street thugs. Together they must endure the brutal hazing and insensible military discipline of the academy on top of all the usual agonies of adolescence.

This novel is a grim and brutal expose of the conditions Vargas Llosa experienced firsthand at the Leoncio Prado Military Academy in Lima. It also depicts much of the life of Lima, from mansions to slums, from beaches to bordellos. The plot is a little slow taking shape, and the shifts in narrative voice take some getting used to, but it eventually develops into a love triangle with some surprising twists that make the last half of the novel highly suspenseful. ( )
1 vote StevenTX | Jan 11, 2011 |
The portuguese translation of La ciudad y los perros, the first novel of Llosa and the one that, when it was first published in 1963, turned him world famous overnight and provoked a bitter reaction by the peruvian military establishment, particularly those connected with the Leoncio Prado military college, in Lima, where the action of the novel takes place. Llosa was himself a cadet at the college, and the book is a brilliant denounciation of the physical and mental violence, and of the hypocrisy, of the military institution. ( )
  FPdC | May 24, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mario Vargas Llosaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klimowski, AndrzejCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijkmans, J.G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
'Four,' the Jaguar said.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0571173209, Paperback)

A powerful social satire which outraged the authorities of the author's native Peru, where 1000 copies were publicly burned.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Four cadets form a secret group to beat the confinement of their military academy. This sets off a chain of events that starts with a theft and ends in murder.

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
65 wanted
9 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.74)
0.5 1
1 4
1.5 2
2 10
2.5 3
3 30
3.5 15
4 61
4.5 13
5 31

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 94,380,766 books! | Top bar: Always visible