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The Green House

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,212 Ratings  ·  134 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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Latino/Latina Fiction
58th out of 537 books — 818 voters
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All about Vargas Llosa
10th out of 24 books — 29 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 15, 2011 Bruce rated it it was amazing
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 Yorkie
Nov 15, 2014 Luís Blue Yorkie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-own, 2014, peru
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
Sep 14, 2012 Shane rated it liked it
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
Mar 12, 2016 Pedro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tengo sentimientos encontrados. La novela es buena, compleja, un alarde de técnica que algunas veces resulta exquisito y otras enrevesado. Varias historias confluyen, en tiempos verbales y estilos distintos, geográficamente dispersas, y distribuidas en líneas temporales que parecieran no tocarse jamás. Además, está la maraña de rangos militares que se repiten sin piedad, mezclados con "peruanismos" y nombres de tribus indígenas que en un principio abruman, aunque con el pasar de las páginas se v ...more
Ana Carvalheira
É verdade que adoro Mário Vargas Llosa ... Tudo o que li dele, até ao momento, me fascinou ... menos "A Casa Verde". Achei os diálogos confusos, uma enorme galeria de personagens com nomes muito parecidos uns com os outros ... Às tantas, já não sabia quem era quem, de que falavam e em que cenário se enquadravam. Só não considerei a mais profunda perda de tempo porque a prosa é fabulosa, absorvente!! O modo como MVL escreve não varia muito nos seus primeiros romances (como é o caso deste) como no ...more
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
Jan 22, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 11, 2015 Araceli rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uni, 2015, own, reviewed
No es un mal libro, pero ciertamente no es para mí. Tuve muchos problemas mientras lo leía. Por un lado, la complejidad estructural y el "alarde técnico" generalizado, al que no le vi un propósito concreto. Hay algunas historias interesantes y otras no tanto, y me da la sensación de que si estuvieran narradas cronológicamente serían muchísimo más aburridas, porque la verdad es que la trama en sí no es la gran cosa. Recién a la mitad de la novela comencé a entender de qué iba todo, pero ya no me ...more
May 06, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, peru
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
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Jan 07, 2014 علی rated it liked it
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
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.
Jul 23, 2011 Keith rated it it was ok
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.
Eliana Rivero
Mar 29, 2015 Eliana Rivero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En las tinieblas del contorno los cocuyos brillan como fuegos fatuos

Este es un novelón excepcional. La historia son varias historias, con polifonía de voces. Todas las historias se cruzan, pero las principales son la de don Anselmo (oh, querido Anselmo (view spoiler)), la de Fushía (japo-brasileño contrabandista) y la del Sargento Lituma (el cual no pensé que terminaría sie
Lamski Kikita
Oct 31, 2011 Lamski Kikita rated it liked it
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
Nov 15, 2011 Antonio Rojas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 22, 2013 Gabbo rated it really liked it
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
May 21, 2010 Poupeh rated it liked it
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?
Jeremy Allan
Feb 15, 2014 Jeremy Allan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern-fiction
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.
May 07, 2014 Alfredo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 23, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 27, 2011 Corey Ryan rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
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
Jun 17, 2009 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Mar 30, 2012 Fabian rated it liked it
“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
Apr 10, 2013 Juan Manuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 26, 2016 Patve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Estoy haberlo terminado....
una historia confusa, difusa, monótona, con bastante lenguaje local que dificulta su lectura. Aún más...detesté el rol femenino en esta novela,si una mujer no es monja, es prostituta y si no... una salvaje analfabeta....increíble ningún personaje femenino fuerte...y que decir de los hombres, personajes que son cafiches, traficantes o curas.... no...lo siento, éste no era un libro para mí...
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
Jan 04, 2011 Matt rated it it was amazing
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
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Around the World: The Green House Group Read 4 38 Dec 27, 2011 08:10PM  
  • The Lost Steps
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  • Genesis (Memory of Fire, #1)
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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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“Scrivere un romanzo è una cerimonia che somiglia allo streap-tease. Come la ragazza che, sotto impudichi riflettori, si libera dei propri indumenti e mostra, a uno a uno, i suoi incanti segreti, così anche il romanziere mette a nudo la propria intimità in pubblico attraverso i suoi romanzi.” 6 likes
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