Diane's Reviews > The Storyteller

The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa
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's review
Dec 08, 2010

really liked it
Read from November 26 to December 01, 2010

I liked this more than I first expected to - in fact I nearly put it down and didn't pick it up again. But eventually I got caught up in the very different rhythms of the two kinds of story - one told by a man remembering his college friend in Peru who disappeared into the Amazon jungle & became one of the Machiguenga. (Guess I should say Spoiler Alert! - but it becomes obvious pretty early on). Interspersed with this narrator's story of his friend are stories told by a tribal keeper of lore, myth, legend, incidences - all in a fantastic stream-of-consciousness jumble. Along the way a pretty thorough picture develops of the complex interplay of modern and ancient cultures and values in that part of the world - a story that has by no means been told yet, nor is it over. An interesting twist, to me, is the fact that the narrator's gone-native friend is Jewish, navigating that kind of marginality in various versions of society that are sometimes parallel with the difficulties Amazonian indians encounter in trying simply to live how and where they do. I can see why the author got a Nobel.
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