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Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario…
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Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (original 1977; edition 1977)

by Mario Vargas Llosa

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1,763543,997 (3.85)1 / 195
Member:evening
Title:Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter
Authors:Mario Vargas Llosa
Info:Faber Faber Inc (2002), Paperback, 410 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:autobiography, Peru, humour

Work details

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa (1977)

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English (42)  Spanish (4)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Take a love-torn teenager, a sexy older woman, an eccentric writer, and a supporting cast of misfit radio artists, romantic friends and enraged relatives and you get this semi-fictional, semi-autobiographical comic novel of life, love and literature.

In 1950ish Lima, Peru, 18-year-old Marito Varguitas studies law and works writing news bulletins for a local radio station’s top-of-the-hour broadcast. There he befriends the station’s new scriptwriter – Pedro Camacho – who can turn out 10 novelas (soap operas) daily. When Marito’s aunt by marriage (no blood relation) arrives from Boliva following an acrimonious divorce, he is quickly smitten. The young man’s aspirations quickly take a back seat to winning the love of Aunt Julia, and the resulting scandal alternately horrifies some family members, while it captures the romantic imagination of others. Meanwhile, Pedro’s intricate plots become more incoherent, and the scriptwriter slowly falls apart.

I really liked this romp of a novel, though I’ll admit to some confusion with the interspersed soap opera plots (which alternate with the main Aunt Julia story). Pedro is portrayed as a pseudointellectual, wanna-be-Bohemian, whose outlandish and intricate plots capture the attention and avid following of the populace. I wish he had played more of a part in the story itself, instead of just serving as a counterpoint to reality. What I’d really like to do now, however, is get my hands on the book that “Aunt” Julia Urquidi wrote in response to her ex-husband’s novel (titled What Little Vargas Didn’t Say. THAT should be an interesting story …
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Wow.
This was an excellent book. I loved both paths of the story, one of which was multi-pronged, since we followed the fraying threads of Don Pedro Camacho's serials about men in their fifties, the prime of their life, with their aquiline noses. The serials and the reactions of the public we see to them in Marito's story as he tries to navigate his love affair with his newly divorced Aunt Julia are a ton of (gruesome) fun as Don Pedro begins his long, slow mental decline.
As the serials implode (almost literally) Mario and Julia's story takes on the aspect of one of Don Pedro's own creations and you almost forget that you're in the real world chapters when things escalate with Mario's parents towards the end.
Makes me want to run out and get more of Llosa's stuff. ( )
  mhanlon | Dec 24, 2015 |
I was really into this book at first, but it went on and on and I had a hard time staying focused. The plot wasn't so complex that it needed to be so long, and I began to lose interest in the characters. Every other chapter is a short story, presumably written by the 'scriptwriter' in the title, although they aren't radio scripts they are just stories. I kind of wondered if they were supposed to be short stories written by the main character, borrowing the plots of the scriptwriter? I was hoping there would be more overlapping themes or ideas between the short stories and the main plot (besides the scriptwriters slow slide into delusion), but maybe I missed something? I'm also not big fan of short stories, so after awhile i got annoyed at having to read them and just wanted to finish the book already. It was fun to see a slice of life in Lima, having traveled there recently. ( )
  nicole_a_davis | Oct 23, 2015 |
Vargas Llosa , como ser humano , como persona , como hombre , es alguien que me cae profundamente MAL . Lo considero apenas un poco mejor que cualquier facho nazi y anti-nacional , chupamedia de Europa que con menos educación dice las pelotudeces que se le cantan .

Sin embargo , si es un gran escritor y este libro es una de las pruebas .

Lo mismo que Borges , que si bien fue un reaccionario como persona y muchas cosas desagradables más , nadie puede negar que fue lo mejor que le pasó a la literatura argentina . ( )
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
'narratives of Mario are nourished by the life around him...Camacho by the fantasies engendered by his disintegrating mind', August 4, 2014

This review is from: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter: A Novel (Paperback)
Weird and wonderful construction of a novel: in alternate chapters we follow the author's account of his young life in Lima, studying law and starting a forbidden relationship with his (much older and divorced) 'Aunt' Julia. Much more important to him than his studies, are his first efforts at writing, and his job as news editor for a local radio station. And this is where the second strand of the novel comes in. Because one day the station hires a Bolivian writer of radio soap operas - the driven but outlandish Pedro Camacho:
'He's not a man, he's an industry!...He writes all the stage plays put on in Bolivia and acts in all of them. And he also writes all the radio serials, directs them, and plays the male lead in every one of them.'

The alternate chapters are sensationalist stories from Camacho's soap operas (highly entertaining). We pretty soon see a link between these stories, in that each features a man in his 50s with 'broad forehead, aquiline nose, penetrating gaze, the very soul of rectitude and goodness', be he a police inspector, doctor or vermin controller. But as time goes on, Camacho's stories start to become intertwined...

Very enjoyable and readable. ( )
  starbox | Aug 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mario Vargas Llosaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lane, HelenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordenhök, JensTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabarte Belacortu, MarioleinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torres, Romero deCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Новикова, Л.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Julia Urquidi Illanes, to whom this novel and I owe so much
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In those long-ago days, I was very young and lived with my grandparents in a villa with white walls in Calle Ocharán, in Miraflores.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312427247, Paperback)

Mario Vargas Llosa's brilliant, multilayered novel is set in the Lima, Peru, of the author's youth, where a young student named Marito is toiling away in the news department of a local radio station. His young life is disrupted by two arrivals.

The first is his aunt Julia, recently divorced and thirteen years older, with whom he begins a secret affair. The second is a manic radio scriptwriter named Pedro Camacho, whose racy, vituperative soap operas are holding the city's listeners in thrall. Pedro chooses young Marito to be his confidant as he slowly goes insane.

Interweaving the story of Marito's life with the ever-more-fevered tales of Pedro Camacho, Vargas Llosa's novel is hilarious, mischievous, and masterful, a classic named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:01 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Reality merges with fantasy in this hilarious comic novel about the world of radio soap operas and the pitfalls of forbidden passion by the bestselling author of The Storyteller. Sexy, sophisticated, older Aunt Julia, now divorced, seeks a new mate who can support her in high style. She finds instead her libidinous nephew, and their affair shocks both famiy and community.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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