The Way to Paradise
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The Way to Paradise

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,658 ratings  ·  138 reviews
A New York Times Notable Book

Flora Tristán, the illegitimate child of a wealthy Peruvian father and French mother, grows up in poverty and journeys to Peru to demand her inheritance. On her return in 1844, she makes her name as a champion of the downtrodden, touring the French countryside to recruit members for her Workers' Union.
In 1891, Flora's grandson, struggling pain...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 4th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published January 1st 2003)
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Mary Soderstrom

Before you start this book, find a big coffee table book of Paul Gauguin's art to use as a reference as you read, or read it next to your internet link so you can check out Gauguin's paintings.

This historical novel by Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa brings up big questions about genius and committment. The book alernates between sections about French artist Paul Gauguin and his grandmother Flora Tristan, a feminist and labour organizer int he early 19th century. Both are driven people...more
Martha
I thought I'd love this historical fiction based on Paul Gauguin (one of my favorite painters) and his political activist grandmother, Flora Tristan. The narrative was confusing, constantly switching back and forth from 2nd to 3rd person. I also felt like I'd rather learn these fascinating characters' true stories, rather than wondering what was fact and what was fiction. It seemed tedious and repetitive to me. I just felt relief when I finally decided not to finish it after 200 pages.
Farhan Khalid
"I want my paintings to be of spiritual comfort to human beings, Paul, the way the word of Christ was comfort to them."

"I didn't have time to be happy, with the frenetic life I was leading. But I was certainly busy"

"A Pleasant dream, sweet, faintly, exciting, nostalgic."

"Color, according to him, was something deeper and more subjective than could be found in the world.

It was a manifestation of human sentiments, beliefs, fantasies.

All the spirituality of an age, and all it's angels and demons, w...more
Roberto
El Paraíso en la Otra Esquina trata sobre las vidas de dos personajes históricos que vivieron en épocas diferentes. Son dos vidas fascinantes, y cualquiera de ellas habría bastado para llenar un buen libro. Pero la sinergia que resulta de combinar ambas historias, contándolas en capítulos alternantes, es lo que lo convierte en un libro excepcional.

Al estructurar el libro de esta manera, se resalta cuán diferentes fueron los dos personajes principales, así como cuán similares fueron en el sentid...more
Mostafa Teffa
بغض النظر عن عبقرية يوسا , بس بالنسبة للقارىء بالعربية مثلى .. لازم نقول صالح علمانى
ترجمة صالح علمانى عظيمة عظيمة عظيمة
صالح علمانى هو الجسر الرائع اللى عبر من عليه أدب امريكا الجنوبية لنا
كان قناتنا الوحيدة لتذوق تلك الروائع
شكراً صالح علمانى
George
The Way to Paradise splits its time between the painter Paul Gauguin--after he’s abandoned Europe and his family for Tahiti--and Gauguin’s grandmother, Flora, a social reformer traveling around France decades earlier, trying to inspire workers to band together and stand up for their rights. I usually enjoy Mario Vargas Llosa’s books – both his writing style and his choice of subject matter – and Gauguin’s story is a fascinating one (see also Maugham’s The Moon And Sixpence). Gauguin is a daring...more
Ximena
El Paraíso en la otra Esquina es una oportunidad maravillosa para adentrarse en la vida de un aventurero, un romántico, un poeta, y un artista: Paul Gauguin. Vargas Llosa nos presenta una deliciosa y espesa hipótesis acerca de lo que el pintor experimentó, por fuera y por dentro, cuando escapó de la aburrida sociedad burguesa de Francia del s. XVIII, y se adentró en un mundo totalmente diferente a lo que conocía, en las islas del Pacífico Sur (e. g. Tahiti). El resultado es simplemente encantado...more
Rute Martins
One of the greatest south-american writers delitgh us with a fabulous narrative and immersive and interesting story about Paul Gaugin and his deep fears and toughts. You'll get to know more about the painter but also enter in the imaginative and rich universe of Mario Vargas Llosa.
David
Recently I have become a big fan of Vargas Llosa and I read this book a few years back. It tells the gritty story of Paul Gauguin and how he ends up on Tahiti. Gauguin is rough and open to all sorts of experiences on the island and continues to make his new form of art.
Ebtihal Abuali

أقرأ رواية ماريو بارغاس يوسا (الفردوس على الناصية الأخرى)، الذي فاز في 2010 بنوبل، وكبقية رواياته التي قرأت هذه رواية متقنة السرد.

يسرد يوسا عبر حقبتين زمنيتين مختلفتين قصتين، الأولى للرسام بول غوغان، هجرته إلى هاييتي بعيداً عن الحضارة الأوربية المرتبطة بالقيود، سعياً إلى العودة إلى الأصول البدائية للبشر حيث يمكنه التقاط لحظات ومشاعر لم يعد ممكناً العثور عليها في باريس. يصف يوسا الظروف والأفكار التي قادت غوغان إلى رسم بعض أهم لوحاته، يسرد القصة التي تحيط بكل لوحة في سياق سرده للتقلبات العاطفية لغ...more
Carolinecarver
When the 2010 Nobel Prize for literature was announced I ran to the library, and this was the only Vargas Llosa.
The Way to Paradise: A Novel, by Nobel-prize winning author Mario Vargas Llosa, is a sweeping reimagining of the artist Paul Gauguin and his suffragette grandmother, Flora Tristan. While Peruvian writer, Llosa has woven the two tales with admirable imagination, switching narratives from grandmother to grandson with lines that never cross (the two never met), his second person remarks,...more
Carole
This counts as 2 books because I am also reading it in Spanish for my class. The Spanish is fairly clear, but the construction is multi-layered with alternate chapters recounting the lives of Paul Gauguin, the artist who renounces all conventions & civilization, as well as his wife & 5 children, to live & work in Tahiti & the Marquesas. His life becomes as hedonistic as syphillis will allow & slowly but surely his physical & mental health is destroyed. His paintings are l...more
Peter
I don't see this in lists of recommended MVL novels, so I guess for him it's a minor work. But I really liked it. The two stories, told in alternating chapters, of Paul Gauguin and his socialist-feminist grandmother Flora Tristan, echo each other and yet also provide critical contrasts. Flora's heroic self-denial and convictions about the subjugation of women (and its connection to class struggle) are juxtaposed with Gauguin's often rather exploitative version of liberation from bourgeois sexual...more
Gauss74
Mentre finisco l'ultima pagina mi capita di pensare al gioco che da il nome al romanzo, a bambini in cerchio che invitano chi sta sotto a continuare a cercare, perchè il paradiso non è li, è altrove. Quanta ricerca e fatica per chi ha una anima sufficientemente vitale da non accontentarsi di una fede da beghine!

Con questa duplice biografia Mario Vargas Llosa offre il giusto tributo a due spiriti grandi e ribelli, avvicinati da legami di parentela ma molto lontani nelle aspirazioni, che il desti...more
Peter Ellwood
What an outstanding book! I'm only giving it four stars because I need to leave enough space at the top to allow for masterpieces like War and Peace: but I'm sorely tempted to put it up there alongside the greatest. Marvellous and absorbing. It's not exactly a conventional structure for a novel - for example, it's most unusual, but thoroughly effective for Llosa to address his two main characters as second person "you". First person has been done before, third person is the norm - but second per...more
Magdelanye
This utterly brilliant book presents,in alternating chapters, the account of a woman dedicated to social reform and the stormy life and death of her grandson.Their lives barely overlap in time,and on the surface,could hardly be more different.Yet both individuals displayed throughout their lives a passion for justice,and both overcame the bourgeouse ethics of the day to forge new and important standards for the world.

I don´t think it is much of a spoiler to reveal that the grandson here is Paul...more
Lerra
Parallel fictionalized biographies of Gaugin and Flora Tristan, a 19th c. avant garde feminist, who is also his grandmother.
The author addresses is characters directly, talks to them as if they were intimate friends. Two extraordinary individuals in search of their own Utopia, the road to which, inexorably, lead them through hell. This is an unforgettable book that spans 3 continents and three generations.
The themes covered span from social justice, art, sexuality, gender, madness, capitalism, s...more
Michael
Tres estrellas porque no hay ganas de ejercitar el cerebro. Siguiendo la linea de algunas otras de sus novelas (La Guerra del Fin del Mundo, La Fiesta del Chivo), Vargas Llosa nos entrega otra mas basada en personajes y hechos de la vida real.

La verdad no se si es mas dificil inventarse un mundo por completo, o tratar de llenar los espacios que la investigacion conserva abiertos. Notable la capacidad de Varguitas (creo que asi le decia su tia, la Julia) de imaginar detalles diminutos, manias, f...more
Fuad Takrouri
الفردوس على الناصية الأخرى
أو بعبارة أخرى... درب الألم بحثاً عن الفردوس.
روعة الأسلوب في رواية سردية لقصتين فلورا برصاصة جوار قلبها وصولاً إلى معركتها الأخيرة وحفيدها بول غوغان بالمرض الذي يأكل جسده،إلى لوحته الأخيرة .
نرى الكاتب يحاور شخصياته ويحدثها،ويتركها تتحدث إلى نفسها لتروي قصتها،وتذكر نفسها بأي مكان وزمان بما كانت عليه في مرحلة ما من حياتها.رواية حقيقية الأحداث والتاريخ والمكان بشكل مفصل.
ألم حقيقي أن تختار حياة مجهولة النهاية مبهمة المعالم لا تعلم أي مكانة أو هدف ستتحقق من خلالها.
قصة كفاح و...more
Marguerite
I like the characters here a lot: Paul Gauguin and his rabble-rousing grandmother, Flora Tristan. Their stories are very interesting (not to mention historically accurate). Both follow their passion and run counter to the age and culture in doing so. Tristan is a feminist who advocates change for workers; Gauguin abandons his family and profession to pursue a more genuine life as a painter in the South Pacific. Mario Vargas Llosa alternates chapters addressed to the characters (a literary device...more
Mohammed Alsaleh
حينما تمر صفحات كثيرة من الكتاب .. ولا تحس بالقيمة الحسية أو المعنوية أو الفكرية التي يضفيها لك .. تحس بالحسرة على مرور الوقت والكتاب بين يديك ..

قرار مفارقة الكتاب أو تركه .. كمثل قرار مفارقة صديق يضرك !

قررت بعد أن أتممت ربع الكتاب فراقه .. أحسستُ بثقله على صدري وبطئ حركتي به .. كما هو تكلف المترجم بصبغ الكتاب بمجموعة كبيرة من الجمل التركيبية الصعبة والمصطلحات التي لم أسمع بها من قبل !

ربما يجد غيري فيه المتعة .. عن نفسي لم أجدها أبداً !
Sitara Kashif
i like the part dealing with Florita Tristan and her struggle . the episode where she was shot by her former husband very close to her heart , took my interest most.
Florita Tristan was shot by her husband whom she had left, she was shot but she wasn't dead , the bullet was stuck around her heart at a vulnerable point, where medical practitioners were helpless , the bullet was slowly moving towards her heart and she was under the threat of dying any moment. then she made a remarkable will which...more
Ivor Hartmann
What Hesse did for Siddhartha Gautama in 'Siddhartha', so does Llosa for Paul Gauguin (and his grandmother) in 'The way to Paradise'. A vast and powerful work, it had me stopping in parts just to step back and admire the awesomeness of his writing for a spell. Truly he is one of the giants of literature, and one whom I have been hooked on since I read 'Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter' in my teens.
Olga
Very well written and structured...I think no reader can get enough of the two parallel stories, of the two lives of Paul Gauguin, famous painter, and Flora Tristan, his grandmother and feminist.
I loved (again) the fact that Vargas Llosa expresses directly his thoughts towards his heroes. It maybe Llosa or their inner voice, asking them what they did and what they should do.
Alison
My uncle has been recommending Llosa to me for awhile and not too long ago I finished The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham, which is a historical fiction about the painter Paul Gauguin. The first book of Llosa's that I happened to stumble across was also a historical fiction about Paul Gauguin, so I took it as a sign and enthusiastically picked it up. I loved the writing in Maugham's version, but the narrative device (Episodic form through a detached character / non-participant – a write...more
Sanjana
A fascinating double tale that juggles between the lives of Paul Gaugin and his grandmother Flora Tristan, this book to me was both a brute display of literary strengths and a failure to match the standards set by Llosa's unparalleled story telling skills. Given that I have already read The Moon and Sixpence, a book loosely based on Paul Gaugin's life, and as good as it can get, I had my apprehensions before starting this book. But once the book sets its pace, it becomes riveting, magical and su...more
Ahmed Outhman
Jul 15, 2011 Ahmed Outhman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ahmed by: Internet
رواية جميلة ورائعة؛ من أجمل ما شدني إليها تصوير حياة المناضل عن حرية طبقات المجتمع المستعبدة كما شدني كذلك صور ونماذج تصالح الكنيسة مع السياسة في الجزر المستعمرة..

أرغب في قرائتها مرة أخرى وأن يكون معي ورقة أرسم بها خارطة عن أسماء الشخصيات والأماكن لكثرتها وتشعبها محاولة في التبسيط والتذكر
Ala AbuTaki

لا أدري أهوَ سوء الترجمة أم سوء الرواية أم الاثنين معاً ! رغم حبي وتقديسي لماريو بارغاس يوسا إلا أن هذه الترجمة وهذه الرواية جعلتني ألعن الملل والأوراق والوقت الذي أقضيه في قراءتها .

من لم يقرأ يوسا من قبل , لا يجب أن يبدأ معه بقراءة هذه الرواية أبداً
Swarnadeep Banik
"What would become of us without the help of what doesn't exist?" - this book starts with this line of Paul Valery. I just went through this line after finishing the book. Truly, in the life of Flora Tristan and his grandson Paul Gauguin, paradise was an illusion. To get their own paradise, they got lost in the entrapment of illusion called paradise.

Sometimes, I found the account of Flora Tristan very monotonous. Apart from that, it was a fascinating read. I will especially mention the last chap...more
Czarny Pies
Jun 20, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vargas Llosa fans with a high pain threshold
This is a secondary work by a writer who often attains greatness. I would not recommend it to anyone but diehard Vargas Llosa fans. For the normal reader it would be better to start with one of Vargas Llosa's masterpieces such as the War at the End of the World or Conversation in a Cathedral. It would be pointless to read an inferior work by this writer who has produced so many outstanding novels.

Vargas Llosa is nonetheless a very intelligent observer of humanity and thus even when he is not at...more
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Mario Vargas Llosa, born in Peru in 1936, is the author of some of the most significant writing to come out of South America in the past fifty years. His novels include The Green House, about a brothel in a Peruvian town that brings together the innocent and the corrupt; The Feast of the Goat, a vivid re-creation of the Dominican Republic during the final days of General Rafael Trujillo’s insidiou...more
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“Lo injusta que es a veces la suerte con los artistas que sueñan con encontrar el Paraíso en este terrenal valle de lágrimas.” 8 likes
“Pueden ustedes reírse de mí, cuando les dé la espalda.” 4 likes
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