The Bad Girl

“The Bad Girl” by Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)

Review

Readers enjoyed the book, describing it as an easy read and one they couldn’t put down. They liked the sense of place and the detailed descriptions of the different cities the characters live in or visit. They enjoyed the background information on the political situation in Peru as it evolves during the course of the story (from the ’50s to the ’90s). Readers had mixed feelings about the two main characters, with some sympathising with Ricardo, whilst others found him irritating, and likewise with the bad girl. They liked the secondary characters very much, finding them all interesting and well developed. Some readers had difficulty with the coincidences that occur throughout the story finding that, due to their large number, they lacked somewhat in credibility. Overall, the book averaged an 8.6 out of 10.

Synopsis

Ricardo Somocurcio is in love with a bad girl. He loves her as a teenager known as ‘Lily’ in Lima in 1950, when she arrives one summer out of the blue, claiming to be from Chile but vanishing the moment her claim is exposed as fiction. He loves her next in Paris, where she appears as the enchanting ‘Comrade Arlette’, an activist en route to Cuba… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 8 – “Love & Passion in World Literature” (Sep 2008 – Jan 2009)

“A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers” by Xiaolu Guo (China)
“Ali and Nino” by Kurban Said (Azerbaijan)
“Tracks” by Louise Erdrich (U.S.)
“The Bad Girl” by Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) *
“Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys (Dominica) 

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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