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Who Killed Palomino Molero? (1986)

by Mario Vargas Llosa

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Novelas de Lituma (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7662224,526 (3.5)1 / 64
Mario Vargas Llosa crea en¿Quién mató a Palomino Molero? una intensa novela policial donde el suspense y la tensión recorren toda la historia. En un escenario dominado por la corrupción, y donde los prejuicios y desigualdades conforman la realidad social del país, la verdad acaba convertida en verdades diversas que se c onfunden la una con la otra en un alucinante juego de espejos. A través de una atmósfera que deslumbra y atrapa, este libro refleja fielmente el clima de una época y denuncia los excesos del poder. ENGLISH DESCRIPTION Mario Vargas Llosa creates an intensely woven detective story where tension and suspense travel through history. In a stage dominated by corruption, where prejudice and disparity constitute a country's social reality, truth becomes a confusing array of images in a hallucinatory game of mirrors. Through an ambiance that dazzles and captures the attention, this novel is a faithful reflection of the character of an era and a denunciation of the excesses of power. "I wrote¿Quien mato a Palomino Molero? in outrage after the murder of a young airman from Talara's military base was red taped by the administration."… (more)
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» See also 64 mentions

English (13)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)


"The boy had been both hung and impaled on the old carob tree. His position was so absurd that he looked more like a scarecrow or a broken marionette than a corpse. Before or after they killed him, they slashed him to ribbons: his nose and mouth were split open; his face was a crazy map of dried blood, bruises, cuts, and cigarette burns." So begins Mario Vargas Llosa's short, riveting detective novel set in a small town in 1950s Peru. After reading for the third time, I asked myself: what makes `Who Killed Palomino Molero?' so gripping, so totally absorbing? On reflection, I think there are several good reasons:

The way the story is told: we follow the path of two policeman from the local force, Lieutenant Silva and his young assistant, Lituma, as they make their rounds on foot, usually under a blazing hot sun, to solve the case. The 3rd person narrator frequently dips into the mind of Lituma, making for most effective storytelling - it is as if the emotions and actions of all the characters are intensified by Lituma's feelings and musings.

The arch of the story: the guts of the novel, the plot, follows what Aristotle outlines in his Poetics. Each successive scene develops and reveals the details of motive and character as the lieutenant and Lituma converse with one key player in the murder's drama in each chapter. We encounter unexpected twists along the way, but, ultimately, there is a sense of inevitability in how events unfold and ultimately conclude.

The subplot: nothing like a little lust to add some spice to a murder mystery. Lieutenant Silva yearns for chubby Doña Adriana, owner of the local rundown, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. As the mystery is resolved in the last chapter, so also is Lieutenant Silva's relationship with his chubby object of sexual hunger. Aristotle would be pleased.

So, all in all, a novel well worth the read and at 150 pages of large print, a novel that can be read in a day. And if you are unacquainted with Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, finishing this short work might motivate you to tackle one of his longer novels. ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
Now I know who killed Palomino Molero. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Feb 19, 2018 |
Creative story and in the end you are not sure what really happened. Great characters ( )
  kakadoo202 | Dec 22, 2017 |


"The boy had been both hung and impaled on the old carob tree. His position was so absurd that he looked more like a scarecrow or a broken marionette than a corpse. Before or after they killed him, they slashed him to ribbons: his nose and mouth were split open; his face was a crazy map of dried blood, bruises, cuts, and cigarette burns." So begins Mario Vargas Llosa's short, riveting detective novel set in a small town in 1950s Peru. After reading for the third time, I asked myself: what makes `Who Killed Palomino Molero?' so gripping, so totally absorbing? On reflection, I think there are several good reasons:

The way the story is told: we follow the path of two policeman from the local force, Lieutenant Silva and his young assistant, Lituma, as they make their rounds on foot, usually under a blazing hot sun, to solve the case. The 3rd person narrator frequently dips into the mind of Lituma, making for most effective storytelling - it is as if the emotions and actions of all the characters are intensified by Lituma's feelings and musings.

The arch of the story: the guts of the novel, the plot, follows what Aristotle outlines in his Poetics. Each successive scene develops and reveals the details of motive and character as the lieutenant and Lituma converse with one key player in the murder's drama in each chapter. We encounter unexpected twists along the way, but, ultimately, there is a sense of inevitability in how events unfold and ultimately conclude.

The subplot: nothing like a little lust to add some spice to a murder mystery. Lieutenant Silva yearns for chubby Doña Adriana, owner of the local rundown, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. As the mystery is resolved in the last chapter, so also is Lieutenant Silva's relationship with his chubby object of sexual hunger. Aristotle would be pleased.

So, all in all, a novel well worth the read and at 150 pages of large print, a novel that can be read in a day. And if you are unacquainted with Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, finishing this short work might motivate you to tackle one of his longer novels. ( )
1 vote GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mario Vargas Llosaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Morino, AngeloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toppi, SergioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westra, MiekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
People/Characters
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important places
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Epigraph
Dedication
To Jose Miguel Oviedo
First words
"Sons of bitches." Lituma felt the vomit rising in his throat. "Kid, they really did a job on you."
Quotations
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
«...Niente è facile, Lituma. Le verità che più sembrano verità, se le guardi da vicino, se le giri e le rigiri, lo sono solo a mezzo oppure non lo sono più.»
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Blurbers
Original language
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

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Mario Vargas Llosa crea en¿Quién mató a Palomino Molero? una intensa novela policial donde el suspense y la tensión recorren toda la historia. En un escenario dominado por la corrupción, y donde los prejuicios y desigualdades conforman la realidad social del país, la verdad acaba convertida en verdades diversas que se c onfunden la una con la otra en un alucinante juego de espejos. A través de una atmósfera que deslumbra y atrapa, este libro refleja fielmente el clima de una época y denuncia los excesos del poder. ENGLISH DESCRIPTION Mario Vargas Llosa creates an intensely woven detective story where tension and suspense travel through history. In a stage dominated by corruption, where prejudice and disparity constitute a country's social reality, truth becomes a confusing array of images in a hallucinatory game of mirrors. Through an ambiance that dazzles and captures the attention, this novel is a faithful reflection of the character of an era and a denunciation of the excesses of power. "I wrote¿Quien mato a Palomino Molero? in outrage after the murder of a young airman from Talara's military base was red taped by the administration."

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