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The Green House

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,645 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Mario Vargas Llosa's classic early novel takes place in a Peruvian town, situated between desert and jungle, which is torn by boredom and lust. Don Anselmo, a stranger in a black coat, builds a brothel on the outskirts of the town while he charms its innocent people, setting in motion a chain reaction with extraordinary consequences.This brothel, called the Green House, br ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 1965)
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Latina/Latino Fiction
51st out of 432 books — 716 voters
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All about Vargas Llosa
14th out of 66 books — 24 voters

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Community Reviews

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This imaginative and highly creative novel by recent Nobel Prize in Literature winner Vargas Llosa is at first disconcerting to read. Several subplots alternate quickly from one to another, seemingly unrelated. Within each plot, characters are often addressed by more than one name, heightening the confusion. And dialogues jump without sign or warning between time frames and different events such that is it often apparent only in retrospect that characters are not present simultaneously. Sometime ...more
Luís Blue B.
In The Green House Don Anselmo is a mysterious stranger who builds on the shores of the small town of Piura, Peru, a house with two floors, divided into several rooms, and all painted with green colour. In no time, the inhabitants of this sleepy village discover the true intentions of this man: women are seen as unknown at that building, which is nothing more than a brothel installed in one of the most desolate places of the country.

Named The Green House, she not only gathers prostitutes, crimin
Llosa’s hallmark is the weaving of disparate story lines, often unconnected, into a coherent (or incoherent) whole at the conclusion of his novel. In The Green House, being one of his earlier works, we see the writer either exploring the edges of this style or hopelessly lost in his own creation.

Comprised of four or five story lines, some separated by a large time gap in between, each with its unique style, Llosa draws a dramatic canvas of the Amazon and its inhabitants. There are the poor and e
Patrizia O
Questo è il terzo libro di Vargas Llosa che leggo: mi sono proprio innamorata! Di cosa? Mah… di tutto direi. Non so bene, sono ancora nella fase dell’innamoramento e non riesco a cogliere alcun difetto nel mio amato: in lui è tutto bello! E questa recensione è, come giusto che sia un tributo d’amore, assolutamente parziale, poco sistematica e molto emotiva.
Di certo io amo il modo di Vargas Llosa di descrivere la natura: non usa mai toni idilliaci, non la descrive come una madre amorevole che si
Mi critica eterna contra Vargas Llosa: una falta de imaginacion notable -facil para mi decirlo, no?- en varias de sus novelas (una excelente investigacion en muchas -pero no en La Casa Verde-). Y una inspiracion, si es que hay, que parece venir de un rincon academico de su alma. Se concentra bastante en el estilo, llegando a un universo mucho mas reducido (el de las oraciones mismas) para entrelazar historias. Es, digamos, la version minimalista del mismo estilo de entrelazar historias en La Fie ...more
Mario Vargas Llosa has, in The Green House, created a whole world that exists in the arc starting with Iquitos on the Amazon, to Santa Maria de Nieva in Amazonas, all the way to Piura in the desert of extreme northwestern Peru. It is a richly populated world, with governors, soldiers, police, nuns, priests, river pilots, dealers in rubber, whores, Amazonian Indians, mestizos, whites -- to the extent that one feels as if one were reading a Tolstoy novel. It starts slowly, and like a river that fi ...more
When ever I come to names such as “Llosa”, “Borges”, “Cortazar”, “Fuentes”... I wish I knew Spanish language, as I’m sure works by these authors would have a different aroma and melody in their own tongues. Llosa is, for me, one of the greatest story tellers, whose works give me deliciousness in Persian as well, (if it’s translated by Abdollah Kowsari, for example). Mario Bargas Llosa uses a highly sophisticated techniques with a very delicate language in multiple viewpoint, as if I’m listening ...more
Hasta hoy, ninguna de las novelas de Mario Vargas Llosa que he leído, merece un calificativo menor a Excelente. Poderoso y lúcido, diáfano y solar, me sigue confirmando que, mientras me quede alguna novela suya por leer, valen la pena la paciencia, la búsqueda y hasta la vejez.

LA CASA VERDE es un ser invertebrado, disléxico y nervioso, falto de cabeza y sobrado de espíritu, movido por flagelos. Los diálogos y el "switcheo" de perspectivas en una misma página son alucinantes.

Tenía 28 años cuand
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Lamski Kikita
The never-ending struggle between civilization and savagery, but... do we really know which is which? Once you get over the rather confusing manner in which Vargas Llosa chose to write this book (especially conversational portions and flashbacks- this book is NOT in chronological order), you start to really be appalled by the intensity of the story, and the beautiful descriptions of a country with lush jungles and deserts where the rain of sand could cut through one's face. Is this the story of ...more
Antonio Rojas
I have read bad books in my life. None worse than this one. I actually HATED this book. I could only make it to page 202. Very confusing, boring, pointless. I regret having wasted my time reading as much as I did. The plot is so inane that I does not merit further coment. This book has nothing to do with other masterpieces written by Vargas Llosa such as Travesuras de la Nina Mala (The Bad Girl), El Paraiso en la Otra Esquina (The Way to Paradise), and to a lesser extent, La Ciudad y Los Perros ...more
This novel is Llosa in his prime.Full of mystery,romance,humor and history.The writing is so addictive and poetic that open up any page and you are trapped in world that you can leave only reluctantly.One of the worlds truly great books.As for being a difficult read, it is as easy as watching a movie.
The theme of this novel ,as in most of Llosas novels, are the absurdities and consequences of bigotry.
I believe that it is his humanism coupled with his great and innovative story telling skills tha
Jeremy Allan
Mario Vargas Llosa's politics are infuriating, but his fiction is a gift. This novel made me cry in the middle of a crowded kebab shop over a spicy pizza. That's a thumbs up, by my standards.
Carolyn Fairman
Well, sadly, I've given up. I've finally decided it's ok that I just can't follow this book well enough to compel me to continue. I commend those of you that understand this book. I think this book may require a teacher in order to get the full meanderings and such.
While generally a fan of Llosa I was very much looking forward to reading this early work. Alas, I found it to be overly complex, beset with too much rambling stream-of-consciousness, and, frankly, kind of turgid. It left me disappointed to say the least.
Dice Vargas Llosa que la forma narrativa empleada en La casa verde le debe mucho a Faulkner. Si usted no le ha echado un ojo a la obra de este, se la recomiendo ampliamente; podría, para comenzar, enfrentarse a una de sus obras clásicas, El sonido y la furia —que los traductores se empeñan en llamar El ruido y la furia—, donde es perfectamente visible a qué es a lo que se refiere el arequipeño: al modo en el que el sentido general de la trama se construye pieza a pieza y paso a paso, sin encontr ...more
This book is brilliant and yet, partly because I read it in Spanish, is very, very challenging and demanding.

Written in 1965, Vargas Llosa writes in a modern style - not quite "train of thought" but with enough hidden structure to create a storyline. There are several stories that take place, some interlocking, some just passing through which adds to the frustration of what is going on? At one point I realized that this book is similar to James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake but actually makes sense.

Corey Ryan
I don't really know why I didn't love this book. The writing style is phenomenal. I didn't find it all that difficult to read. I started "Hopscotch" a while ago and that was much harder. Llosa can expertly bend the past and present into one while still bringing forth the forward movement of the plots. And speaking of plots, some were better than others. Bonificia's, I thought, was much better than Fushia and Aquilino's (Sr.), but not as good and Don Anselmo's, and especially that part about Anto ...more

Besides "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Hopscotch" - here is the other of the Big Three of Latin American novels which made the world sit up and take notice of the post-WWII generation of Latin American authors and Latin American literature in general.

Vargas Llosa shows great skill in weaving togther the lives of five people and their stories - all connected by and through The Green House. Vargas LLosa has stated that he is greatly indebted to William Faulkner in terms of style and it show
“The Green House” Mario Vargas Llosa. 3/30/12

How in love am I with my “High Modernism in Latin America: Mario Vargas Llosa” class? Well, I did manage to put up with this for two entire weeks, perhaps this is the most difficult of all his books (having read like half of the MVL library, almost). How “difficult”? Think: an extended version of Faulkner’s infuriating “Sound and the Fury” but modified for the tastes of an even more sophisticated reader, a worldlier one (Faulkner’s novel, on the other
Juan Manuel
Cuando Vargas Llosa introduce su libro diciendo que había sido influenciado por William Faulkner al escribirlo, uno no puede evitar pensar en El ruido y la furia, y en la posibilidad de que las páginas que continúen sufran de la misma complejidad narrativa que las del autor nortemamericano. Y la predisposición trasciende. La casa verde abre desde su primera página con la ambigüedad. Una ambigüedad incesante (aunque no insoluble) que define a la obra y la hace memorable.

Una zona seca y desértica,
Comecei a ler este livro há dias atrás e não foi uma leitura fácil por diversas razões. Primeiro, porque foi o meu contacto inicial com o trabalho deste autor; segundo, porque Llosa tem uma forma de escrever muito complexa e intrincada; terceiro, porque as histórias dentro da história sem ordem cronológica e a escrita que “desobedece” às regras mais normais tornou este livro pesado.
Até gostei da história, mas a forma como é contada, por vezes torna-a um pouco confusa, requerendo muita atenção d
This book is mainly about a village in Peru that lies between the jungle and the desert. A brothel that is built on the outskirts of village is at the heart of the story, and the effect it has on the lives of the village residents and the surrounding area are the threads of the story.

I've never before read Llosa. It was an unusual reading experience for me, and at times I found it hard to follow. Even now that I've had plenty of time to reflect, I don't know if I loved it or hated it, or if it w
amazing book. very difficult to read, but also very enjoyable. there are many sections go for pages without paragraphs. the time frame jumps around and many of the characters go by different names. it takes a while to get used to the characters and the locales. there were definitely times where i was completely confused.

its a great story about a handful of people in peru and their lives, the love, hate, betrayal. half of it takes place in the jungle along the rivers, and the rest takes place in
Colby Droscher
Jun 14, 2007 Colby Droscher rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers
This is my current favorite book. It really is, as wikipedia says, a book very heavily influenced by Faulkner.

At first it's confusing enough that you re-read sections because there might be three periods of time with all or some of the same charecters speaking referring to a past time that might be the previous paragraph. But once you find that raw but delicate pattern, it's amazing. You feel like you're almost playing a game with Mario Vargas Llosa.

Of the books that I've read of his, it's the
Gonzalo Coron
Un poco lento pero al final mejora la narrativa. Indispensable para entender a Vargas Llosa, su tiempo y su obra.
Oh, it was a toil figuring out who is who, what is what, when is when, a toil continuing to the end and finishing it...
it is more like a game of discovery, with times shifting, characters changing names, points of view changing, styles changing...
and despite all the things i enjoyed in this, i am left wondering, what is the limit of these games the author plays with the reader? when is it too much?
John Pappas
Llosa's depiction of life in and around a Peruvian brothel is a tale of brutal cruelty. The military, church, government and many independent businessmen exploit the area breeding corruption and hypocrisy. The tale is certainly not new, but Llosa's impressionistic narrative and temporally disjunctive structure illustrates how deeply pervasive this corruption is.
La versión que tengo (no sé si todas las ediciones se publicaron de igual manera), está escrita en tinta verde.
Moriarty Mayfair
Jodidamente original y enrevesada la estructura, con quizá dos puntos donde es inevitable la confusión, pero nada irreparable, cuando te das cuenta tu cerebro lo acomoda todo por sí solo y todas las piezas encajan. Es hasta un ejercicio para el cerebro esta novela. La historia para mí incluso es lo de menos. 5 estrellas por la locura de manera de armarlo todo. Creo que todo el mundo ha dicho lo mismo sobre La Casa Verde, hasta Cortazar en su carta a Vargas Llosa tras leer la novela antes de su p ...more
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Around the World ...: The Green House Group Read 5 37 Dec 27, 2011 08:10PM  
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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
More about Mario Vargas Llosa...
The Feast of the Goat Travesuras de la niña mala La ciudad y los perros Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter Pantaleón y las visitadoras

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