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Mario Vargas Llosa
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Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,288 Ratings  ·  647 Reviews

Mario Vargas Llosa's masterful, multilayered novel is set in the Lima, Peru, of the author's youth, where a young student named Marito is toiling away in the news department of a local radio station. His young life is disrupted by two arrivals.

The first is his aunt Julia, recently divorced and thirteen years older, with whom he begins a secret affair. The second is a manic

Paperback, 374 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Faber & Faber Ltd (first published 1977)
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Nov 20, 2015 Jibran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He was in the prime of his life, his fifties, and his distinguishing traits - a broad forehead, an aquiline nose, a penetrating gaze, the very soul of rectitude and goodness.

Genius and insanity may or may not have a close concordat but stories of this kind never fail to fascinate me; and even more when they are subjected to satire, as Llosa does with great effect in this case. Pedro Camacho – the man behind the metrically balanced name is an unbalanced maverick of singular mind to whom the only
I consider my experience with this book a love affair gone horribly wrong. Once again I'm harshly reminded of the dangers of praising a book before I've finished it. What began as an amazing wonder promising to be a masterpiece, hitting a still patch towards the half-way mark and quickening its pace towards the end, died an awful death in Chapter 20, a hateful, misogynistic, self-absorbed, malicious end that made me regret all the time I'd spent with Llosa, all the times I'd raved about him, all ...more
Dec 25, 2013 Agnieszka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, favorites, 2013, reviewed
If you should happen to read it-just ignore me.Ignore all I’ve written about.It’s not a real review.In fact,this is not review at all.

It’s been some years I read “Aunt Julia …” for the first time.It was at hospital,after my surgery,waiting for.. Oh,I didn’t know what I was waiting for.Anyway,I was lying in bed like some miserable Lazarius , looking like shit and feeling the same,in a strange city,with no one to talk.Ok,it doesn’t matter.So,I was lying and thinking,and more thinking.Chemotherapy,
That is what Contrafactus is all about. In everyday thought, we are constantly manufacturing mental variants on situations we face, ideas we have, or events that happen, and we let some features stay exactly the same while others "slip". What features do we let slip? What ones do we not even consider letting slip? What events are perceived on some deep intuitive level as being close relatives of ones which really happened? What do we think "almost" happened or "could have" happened, even though
It’s easy to write a review of a good novel. It’s also easy to write a review of bad one. But this… It has hutzpah, it has ambition, it almost gets there but not quite.

This is novel of two lives, both at critical junctures, told in two vastly different formats. The first, semi-autobiographical, is the story of an aspiring young writer, Marito, and his courtship of his aunt by marriage. The second is the story of Pedro Camacho, an acclaimed radio scriptwriter, as he falls apart under the stress
Where does one even begin (Beginnings, that point in time or space when things start) with this comic master-piece? Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa's fifth novel,a profusely auto-biographical and inventive piece on the art of writing.

A novel, granted, that will undeniable be slightly drained the more you already know about it. Astute readers will cop on to this as soon as you get half way through chapter two when the blend of realities abruptly come into play.

The novel is charged with telling
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 11, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Kandice
I found myself underwhelmed by Borges and Marquez; their brand of "magical realism" turned out not to be my cuppa. I found myself much, much happier with Mario Vargas Llosa's Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter. The book's chapters alternate between young "Marito's" first person account of his love affair with his much older in-law Aunt Julia, and the third-person tales of "the scriptwriter" of a popular radio soap opera. I found both parts equally engaging. Given that "Marito" is a diminutive for M ...more
I think I have come finally across a writer of Latin American origin who far surpasses Garcia Marquez's ability in terms of engaging a reader.
Aunt Julia and The Scriptwriter is a delightfully quirky tale of an illicit romance and the slow descent into madness of a brilliant scriptwriter.
The main narrative does not only focus on Marito(the narrator) and Aunt Julia's forbidden love. The events of their first meeting and whirlwind courtship alternate between the highly provocative novellas of Pedr
Mar 03, 2009 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Latin American lit fans
Although I eventually got impatient with the pace, there were many things I liked about this book. Our hero, Mario, a lustful 18-year-old, is smitten with Julia, his uncle’s divorced 32-year-old sister-in-law (consistently referred to as “Aunt Julia,” reminding us of their age difference and relationship and cleverly highlighting the absurdity of the situation). The two of them embark on an impossible romance. Meanwhile, Mario is also developing an intellectual fascination with Pedro Camacho, th ...more
Aug 06, 2011 Rodrigo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
¡Wow! ¿Qué puedo decir? Cada vez que leo algo de Vargas Llosa me pregunto qué falta para que lo declaren uno de los mejores de todos los tiempos. Es increíble cómo este señor produce maravillas con el lenguaje, pero dando la impresión de que es tan fácil escribir: llano, simple, sin rebuscamientos en la forma, pero impresionante, maravilloso, intenso y profundo en el fondo. Este libro nos da mil historias dentro de una sola. Ya la historia de amor de la tía Julia bastaba para mantenerme pegado a ...more
Mar 01, 2008 Frank rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochists
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 18, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fiction, peru
I am now convinced that there is something Shakespearean about Mario Vargas Llosa: He can be in a novel such as Conversation in the Cathedral be somber and deep, and in Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter be outright zany, ranging from Macbeth to Malvolio, and deftly too. Both books were written about the Odria dictatorship in the 1950s, but what a world of difference!

In Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, we have a young man -- only eighteen years of age -- by the name of Mario Vargas (without the Llo
Sep 12, 2015 Anastasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2014
Il romanzo si snoda in due linee narrative chiare. I capitoli dispari sono dedicati alla vicenda di Mario (per gli amici Varguitas, e sì, il cenno autobiografico è più chiaro del mio colorito in pieno Luglio), un “mezzo intellettuale” che lavora alla stazione radiofonica di Radio Panamericana mentre coltiva le carte per una carriera da scrittore professionale. Il fatto scottante non riguarda affatto la sua carriera, ma è proprio il rapporto che si verrà a creare con la zia Julia e tutte le perip ...more
Dec 23, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first novel read by Vargas Llosa and loved it. He recently won the Nobel Prize in Literature and whom I heard interviewed by Elenor Wachtel (CBC Podcast) and just by this book alone I can see why he won.

This is one of his earlier works and his writing style is lucid, visual and an ease to read (in translation). The story follows an 18-year old writer named Varaguitas working for a Peruvian radio programme editing the news in the late 1950s. Whike studying law and to make some extra cash, the
Feb 23, 2009 Lena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
There are many stories woven within this colorful comic novel. First, there is the main tale of 18-year old Mario, an aspiring writer who embarks on a secret affair with his divorced, 32-year old aunt. Mario's narrative also outlines events in the life of Pedro Camacho, a Bolivian scriptwriter employed to produce soap-opera serials at the radio station where Mario works. Interwoven between chapters written from Mario's perspective are chapters from the intriguing serials themselves.

It's been a w
Sep 28, 2008 Lavinia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fiction
I declare myself satisfied after this first encounter with Llosa. The novel is funny and autobiographical in part, which makes it even more interesting. Some of the episodes written by the scriptwriter are funny, some less funny, but all written masterfully.

pentru o prima intilnire cu llosa, ma declar satisfacuta. regasesc un pattern sud-american, ceea ce e de bine :)
romanul e amuzant, partial biografic, ceea ce-l face si mai interesant. episoadele condeierului sint, unele mai nostime, altele
Asma Fedosia
Sep 28, 2011 Asma Fedosia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The genius of this book is probably how complicated the double plot and the quirky characters are and how smoothly the whole story flows. Tack on to that enjoyable messiness its humor, pathos, unconventionality, and wordplay. Quite a writerly feat that reaches its apex in the last four chapters.
Jan 02, 2012 Jorge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hacía tiempo que no leía una novela que me fascinara tanto... La tía Julia y el escribidor es una de esas novelas que despiertan las ganas de escibir, tanto por su protagonista, un jovencito que desea ser escritor (alter ego del mismo Vargas Llosa) y se enamora de una tía política aún joven (treinta y pocos), como por el escribidor, Pedro Camacho, un guionista de radioteatros con una creatividad increíble para los melodramas truculentos.

Creo que perdí un poco de objetividad, ya que la novela la
the gift
surprised me, though he has won the Nobel and such does not guarantee serious work, hard to read work, that this is so easy to read yet also postmodern in its way. this reminded me of both Gabriel Garcia Marquez, another Latin American Nobel laureate, whose work is quite different and poster child for magic realism- and then also Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler... I guess because it reminds me of how innocent of literature at the same youth, and how the story is a reflection, a ...more
This is set in 1950s Peru and concerns Mario (Varguitas), an 18 year old law student who writes news bulletins for a radio station, but wants to become a proper writer.

The drivers of the plot are the two Bolivians of the title, both of whom Mario obsesses about in different ways: a workaholic writer of radio soaps, brought in to boost ratings, and Mario's divorced 32-year old aunt Julia. The chapters of the book alternate between the real story of Mario and episodes of Pedro Camacho's soaps, tho
Feb 03, 2013 Simona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Potrebbero essere due storie che si intersecano, ma, in realtà, è un 'unica storia descritta in modo magistrale.
I capitoli dispari raccontano la vita di Mario, nel quale è facile intuire alcuni cenni autobiografici, un giovane studente di legge, direttore di una radio in Perù e il cui sogno è diventare scrittore, i capitoli pari sono dedicati a Pedro Camacho, definito il Balzac creolo, che scrive romanzi radiofonici e dal quale Mario attingerà molto per capire l'arte della scrittura e della par
Когато преди седем месеца толкова силно се впечатлих от "Панталеон и посетителките", че написах следното: Роман, който не бива да се коментира и преразказва. Самобитна, силна книга, която не мога да сравня с никое друго заглавие. В нея смехът нагарча, сериозното разсмива, а Льоса владее речта до такова съвършенство, че прави с думите каквото си пожелае (чудесен превод). Абсурдни ситуации, описани спокойно и естествено и герои, на които се симпатизира през поклащане на главата с иронична усмивка, ...more
Dec 09, 2011 Ivana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so happy I am fluent in Spanish and was able to read this book in Llosa's native tongue (as I do with all his books). I know this book is not as deep as "La Conversación en la Catedral", but it is still amazing. I laughed out loud many times, and reading the frantic ramblings of Pedro Camacho towards the end of the book made me tear up from laughter.
This book gives us a glimpse into Llosa's youth; even though the book is not entirely autobiographical (for that, read "El pez en el agua), I
Loved it especially the stories between chapters. I did not know this writer but I have really appreciate him
Hugo Emanuel
Aug 06, 2014 Hugo Emanuel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Baseado nas três obras que li de Mario Vargas Llosa até á data, julgo poder afirmar com relativa segurança que o autor possui, no meu entender, um absoluto domínio de estrutura narrativa bem como da prosa necessária para contar convincentemente determinada história. A sua capacidade de criar personagens excêntricas mas verosímeis ou de adequar a linguagem da sua prosa ao nível cultural ou género da personagem ou personagens dos seus romances é tremenda. O autor é ainda capaz de, no meio de relat ...more
Dec 26, 2015 Augusto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La ventaja de escribir una reseña para este libro es la imposibilidad de "spoilear" la historia debido a su simpleza y es ahí donde el libro es grande. Estamos hablando de una prosa directa (cuando habla de la historia de Julia y Mario) pero sutilmente floreada durante los radio teatros de Pedro Camacho; esos que muestran lentamente la decadencia de una mente brillante así como facetas del Perú de la primera mitad del siglo pasado. Paralelamente, el romance entre Julia y Mario se desarrolla lent ...more
Inderjit Sanghera
Nov 05, 2015 Inderjit Sanghera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter is a raucous and irreverent exploration of pulp fiction in the form of Latin American radio soap operas. Not only is it a homage to an art form which was superseded by television, but is a celebration of the banal truths of soap operas, from the dashing heroes to the banal beauties who populate them to the tedious platitudes which form the core of the dialogue. Twinned with the romance between the young protagonist, Mario, and his Aunt Julia, the novel also follow ...more
Jul 22, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa is a delightful romp through the streets of Lima. The novel alternates between the tale of a young law student's romance with his aunt's sister who arrives from Bolivia after her divorce and episodes of the radio serials composed by the recently hired Bolivian scriptwriter working at a station owned by the laws student's employers. The protagonist has a part time job at the other station in the same group, as news director, and he befriends t ...more
Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter is as autobiographical as it gets. Llosa has not even made an attempt to camouflage the characters under a different name. The narrator appears as Varguitas, and Julia is Julia, the aunt Llosa married in his early life. He has of course played with the ages a little bit, making himself younger and her older in the caricature. (In reality, he was 19, and she was 29 when they married). Keeping company with Julia is an eccentric, Bolivian script-writer, who writes sc ...more
El Avestruz Liado
A very ambitious novel that nonetheless has the underpinnings of all its shortcomings from its central premise: intertwining the narrative of his marriage with the soap operas broadcasted from his workplace.

Pedro Camacho, the protagonist of that second intertwined story is certainly one of the most memorable characters ever featuring in a Vargas Llosa novel. He is almost a caricature: a voice worth of a broadcaster, owner of some manners that are a mixture of the Victorian era with the usual Lat
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The Armchair Trav...: * Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter 5 15 Jan 11, 2015 10:56PM  
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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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“One can't fight with oneself, for this battle has only one loser.” 110 likes
“I was very young and lived with my grandparents in a villa with white walls in the Calle Ocharan, in Miraflores.” 6 likes
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