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The Time of the Hero

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  18,147 ratings  ·  883 reviews
Set among a community of cadets in a Lima military school, it is notable for its experimental and complex employment of multiple perspectives. The novel was so accurate in its portraiture of the academy that the academy's authorities burned one thousand copies and condemned the book as a plan by Ecuador to denigrate Peru. ...more
Paperback, 379 pages
Published 2004 by Faber and Faber (first published 1962)
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David Mchedlidze MAS importantes ::::
1. O comes o te comen, no hay más remedio.
2. En cierto modo, tenía derecho; todos en el colegio respetaban la venganza.
3. Los zorr…more
MAS importantes ::::
1. O comes o te comen, no hay más remedio.
2. En cierto modo, tenía derecho; todos en el colegio respetaban la venganza.
3. Los zorros del desierto de Sechura aúllan como demonios cuando llega la noche; ¿Sabes por qué? : para quebrar el silencio que los aterroriza.
4. Sólo la libertad le interesaba ahora para manejar su soledad a su capricho, llevarla a un cine, encerrarse con ella en cualquier parte.

5.- Pero a mí eso no me importa. Yo estoy enamorado de ti, seas como seas. - Pero yo no. Lo he pensado mejor y no estoy enamorada de ti.

6. Ni en la guerra debe haber muertos inútiles. Usted me entiende, vaya al colegio y trate en el futuro de que la muerte del cadete Arana sirva para algo.
7. Soñaba toda la semana con la salida, pero apenas entraba a su casa se sentía irritado: la abrumadora obsequiosidad de su madre era tan mortificante como el encierro.

8. Eres el único amigo que tengo. Antes no tenía amigos, sino conocidos. Quiero decir en la calle, aquí ni siquiera eso. Eres la única persona con la que me gusta estar.
9. -Teresa no me contesta -dijo el Esclavo-. Van dos cartas que le escribo. - ¿Y qué mierda te importa? -dijo Alberto-. El mundo está lleno de mujeres. -Pero a mí me gusta ésa. Las otras no me interesan. ¿No te das cuenta?

10. El amor es lo peor que hay. Uno anda hecho un idiota y ya no se preocupa de sí mismo. Las cosas cambian de significado y uno es capaz de hacer las peores locuras y de fregarse para siempre en un minuto.

11. Ha olvidado los hechos minúsculos, idénticos, que constituían su vida, esos días que siguieron al descubrimiento de que tampoco podía confiar en su madre, pero no ha olvidado el desánimo, la amargura, el rencor, el miedo que reinaban en su corazón y ocupaban sus noches. Lo peor era simular...

12. Se sintió viejo; la vida era monótona, sin alicientes, una pesada carga. En las clases, sus compañeros hacían bromas apenas les daba la espalda el profesor: cambiaban morisquetas, bolitas de papel, sonrisas. Él los observaba, muy serio y desconcertado: ¿Por qué no podía ser como ellos, vivir sin preocupaciones, tener amigos, parientes solícitos?

13. Mentira, el recuerdo del colegio despertaba aún esa inevitable sensación sombría y huraña bajo la cual su espíritu se contraía como una mimosa al contacto de la piel humana. Sólo que el malestar era cada vez más efímero, un pasajero granito de arena en el ojo, ya estaba bien de nuevo.

14. Pero no olvide tampoco que lo primero que se aprende en el Ejército es a ser hombres. Los hombres fuman, se emborrachan, tiran contra, culean. Los cadetes saben que, si son descubiertos, se les expulsa. Ya han salido varios. Para hacerse hombre hay que correr riesgo, hay que ser audaz. Eso es el Ejército, Gamboa, no sólo la disciplina.

15. Robo de exámenes, robo de prendas, emboscadas contra los superiores, abuso de autoridad con los cadetes de tercero. ¿Sabes lo que eres? Un delincuente. -No es cierto -dijo el Jaguar-. No he hecho nada. He hecho lo que hacen todos. - ¿Quién? -dijo Gamboa-. ¿Quién más ha robado exámenes? -Todos -dijo el Jaguar-. Los que no roban es porque tienen plata para comprarlos.(less)

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BlackOxford
Lord of the Flies - With Guns

As a young man I attended a federal service academy in the United States for four years. So I identify with the conditions in the Peruvian equivalent that Vargas Llosa describes in excruciating detail. From the universal use of nicknames - half of them derogatory, the other half salacious - to the continuous, and often very creative, scheming to evade and outwit authority, to the intentional promotion of sadistic and vulgar brutality in the name of camaraderie, I fin
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
La Ciudad y los Perros = The City and the Dogs = The Time of the Hero, Mario Vargas Llosa

The Time of the Hero is a 1963 novel by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, who won the Nobel Prize in 2010.

It was Vargas Llosa's first novel and is set among the cadets at the Leoncio Prado Military Academy in Lima, which he attended as a teenager. The novel portrays the school so scathingly that its leadership burned a large number of copies and condemned the book as Ecuadorian propaganda against Peru.

تار
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Michael Finocchiaro
Mario Vargas Llosa's first book, based on his own experiences in a military academy, is a great read and certainly demonstrates the qualities of writing that he used later and that eventually earned him a deserved Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. The narration is non-linear and post-modern in that the voice shifts from 3rd person to 1st person and the story is told from several perspectives at once. What looks like a relatively simple story of revenge becomes something much bigger - the condi ...more
Ali
Mar 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: great-ones, novels
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 Vargas Llosa uses a highly sophisticated techniques with a very delicate language in multiple viewpoint, as if I’m listening ...more
Ana
Llosa's ability to build a world brick by brick is legendary, more so because every brick is dripping in character. He can describe a feeling or a look or a way of talking like no other. His characters are wonderfully complex creations that populate a world so flawed, you are amazed it's still standing. It took a little time to read through this work, because in typical South-American fashion, his literature is complicated to digest. I only recommend it to readers with patience, and who like det ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 501, 1001-core, nobel
First published in 1963, The Time of the Hero made the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, a Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa as a new promising novelist. It is about the life of graduating cadets at a military school in Lima, Peru. Llosa's narration is so vivid as he uses his words very carefully and takes pain in describing his characters and the scenarios. You will have the feeling of being one of the cadets: walking in the same corridor, performing the same drills or even standing in the dark ...more
Jim
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, peru
The Time of the Hero (in Spanish, The City and the Dogs) is Mario Vargas Llosa's first novel, published in 1963. It is the tale of several cadets at a military academy called the Collegio Militar Leoncio Prado (CMLP). Halfway into the book, I was surprised to see that the CMLP actually exists. When Vargas Llosa's book was published, the Academy bought and destroyed a thousand copies, because they thought only their enemies the Ecuadorians could have played such a dirty trick on them. (Now, fifty ...more
Shaimaa Ali
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Llosa has deceived me in this novel!
It has a very slow start, lots of characters (similar to the Feast Of the Goat), going back & forth. I was asking myself: Why am I reading all this?! I hate chit-chatting and excessive details till I've finished half the book and I was raging of dissatisfaction!

Then the second part of the novel has started and it was a drastic change! I got to understand the depths of the main characters, how they became mature through the years and even after finishing thei
...more
Jan-Maat
Novel set in a military academy, I guess in Peru, and utilising multiple points of view to tell a the story of a class of cadets and the events that include the death of one of the cadets. The technique is deliberately disorienting, so much so that when I read it I couldn't succeed in distinguishing the characters - the names by which they are known in school are nom de Guerre, when on leave or in a different PoV section other names, possibly those given to them by parents, are used - the points ...more
David
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stunningly brilliant. One of the best books I have read this year (and I have had a great year).

I heard many things about this book including the brutality and the sordid lives of cadets in a military school so I can't say I was eager to read. But then it is Mario Vargas Llosa and this was his first book (and my twentieth book of his). So I began and could not put it down (even when I was sick for a week). For anyone who hasn't read Vargas Llosa, I would recommend this book.

The characters are ve
...more
Diana
The Time of the Hero [1963] – ★★★★

The Time of the Hero is a controversial novel written by the Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa. The fictional story takes place in Lima, Peru at the Leoncio Prado Military Academy, a military educational establishment once attended by the author. In the story, a group of cadets is trying to steal the questions to the forthcoming chemistry exam, while being involved in a number of other similar “illicit” activities, such as fighting among themselves, bullying
...more
Daniel Villines
At times, Mario’s Llosa’s narrative is a bit rambling. It has a bad habit of changing timeframes and perspectives on a whim while placing key events in the current timeframe on hold. It seems like he was attempting to create a mood in which the story could take place but the end result is a book that reads like a Picasso painting.

Llosa’s numerous characters are somewhat homogeneous. While unique nicknames are used as marks of distinction, only a few of them grow into distinct characters. And aga
...more
Joel Palma
Reading this masterpiece by Mario Vargas Llosa, my favorite novelist from Latin America, I felt the hate (like, seriously felt it! Goosebumps!)... the pages fly pulsating so vividly I can't believe I'm reading a work of fiction... The most electrifying reading experience for me, and yes, more stirring than "The Feast of the Goat" in my opinion.

The scenes at the military academy and the cadets' misdemeanor and how they dealt about the crime and the outcome, the bullying, the military officials t
...more
Ivana
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading it a while ago, and I left it because I got lost. Then, I read his other novels. I started with "la tia Julia y el escribidor", then "fiesta del chivo", and slowly, I learned his narrative style. I then progressed to the "conversación en la catedral", "La casa verde" and "Historia de Mayta".
When I came back to "la ciudad y los perros", I realized what I was missing.
So, one has to understand Llosa's narrative style before immersing himself/herself into this kind of a literature.
...more
Jeremy
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
If you've ever wondered what the expression 'toxic masculinity' means, consider this book a crash course.

Mario Vargas Llosa's depiction of life for a group of teenage boys at a Peruvian military academy is rife with cruelty, hazing, selfishness, violence and pettiness. And its not simply the cadets who exhibit this behavior, but their officers, administrators, parents, friends, etc. It's kind of an anti-bildungsroman: everyone is punished, no one seems to learn any real lessons. It all adds up t
...more
Cristina
May 30, 2013 rated it liked it
I was curious to read something written by the Nobel awarded writer Mario Vargas Llosa
and, at a friend's recommendation, I picked the author's first novel - "La ciudad y los perros".
The plot is about life in a military school from Lima, in the second half of the past century. It describes the evolution from adolescence to manhood, transformation that unfortunately happens in an environment where you are forced to make a choice: either being the author either being the victim of violent behavior
...more
Aldo Ramírez
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lord of the Flies in an experimental and Peruvian version, however, better constructed with deeper characters, all complex, intrincated, good, evil, mixed, completely humans. One truly superb novel...of a 26 years-old-novelist...a prelude of a genius.
It was almost 40 years ago when my father told me..."So you want to go to a military school?...read this first"...got it...I decided to study as hard as I could... ;)
...more
Doug
Apr 09, 2010 rated it liked it
A difficult book to follow because of shifting narrators and points of view, but worth the effort. This is a book I'd use some criticism on if I really wanted to understand it. The awkward part of this book is that it's genre is a coming-of-age novel but it's far too complex for a high school student to understand. ...more
Hugo Smith
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was lazy about this book, largely because it took me 130 pages to figure out what was going on. The nonlinear perspective was often confusing, and made it slow going at times.

However, having stuck with it to the end, it is indeed well done. The narrative doesn’t quite make sense until the last page, and then it does. As others have pointed out, a very masculine novel, and not exactly the vacation reading I was hoping for, but I enjoyed it all the same.
Bogdan
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mundus-novus
A very complex novel, with multiple shifting perspectives, sometimes difficult to follow. But it also treats a very sensitive subject: violence, especially at teenagers. Set in a military school from Lima, it reminded me of the reasons I strongly opposed my father's idea when I finished high school, to join the Romanian Army. I also successfully escaped the mandatory military service, as it was abolished in 2007, although I was eligible couple of years before that moment.

The premise, as I explai
...more
Judy
I read my first book by this author in 2002. The Green House, his second novel, was one of the challenging literary novels I was starting to read in those years, having somewhat satisfied my desire for trashy, escape reading. I was rekindling my aspirations as a writer and wanting to read Literature. It was around that time that I invented My Big Fat Reading Project. Vargas Llosa was one of the celebrated authors of the Latin American boom and went on to win the Nobel Prize in 2010.

The Time of
...more
Tara
Oct 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Catch-22 Lovers
The Time of the Hero is very reminiscent of Catch-22. It, too, revolves around a restless military group and inserts you into the minds of multiple characters through first person narration (very As I Lay Dying) except we also have a mystery narrator this time.
I recommend this book to those who want a more high-brow version of Catch-22.
j
Sep 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i never want to read about a group of straight, mostly white boys again
Fritz Villanueva
A very compelling read, to say the least. But with a bit of a confusing narrative style. Many people have compared this to lord of the flies, but I have yet to read that book. Safe to say, this is how I imagine it would be.

The descriptions are vivid, and as a teen who once studied far away from home, I can tell that more than half of what's described in the book might have, in one capacity or another, actually happened. And I'm pretty sure of it, despite the school I attended not being a Militar
...more
John Gurney
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This coming-of-age tale was so realistic - and its portrayal of the Leoncio Prado Military Academy so unflattering - the Peruvian Army bought up every available copy to burn the books.

Vargas-Llosa's main character, Alberto, the jaded "Poet" cadet, is relatable and multi-faceted. Other characters, especially the slippery cadet nicknamed the Jaguar, are realistic and intriguing. The Nobel Prize-winning author's descriptions are vivid, the setting of Lima is unique, and his plot is multi-dimension
...more
Jeremy Allan
Mario Vargas Llosa's first book is dark, often times deliberately elusive, and surprising. It revolves around a group of teenage cadets, struggling to survive a hellish military education, and grappling with each other as a means of coping with many misdirected emotions. They negotiate uneasy alliances and wade through institutionalized violence. Through shifts in perspective, a range of narrative techniques, and sensible but wild changes of emotion in the characters, Vargas Llosa provides us wi ...more
Vasi Maier
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"His room was in darkness, and as he lay on the bed, he dreamed with his eyes open. It had only taken a few seconds for the world he had abandoned to open its doors and receive him again without question, as if the place he once occupied among them had been jealously guarded for him during those three years. He had regained his future." ...more
Alessandro Speciale
An extraordinary book of dizzying violence and humanity, written with an amazing technical prowess (Vargas Llosa was only 26!) and an even deeper knowledge and respect for human beings and their fallacies and redemption
Sam
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very hard to put down. It’s a Lord of the Flies-style novel about how cruel young men can be to one another. The military school Leoncio Prado is a microcosm of Lima, or Peru, itself. There is serious prejudice, and self-preservation is the name of the game.

After reading a couple of other, later novels from Vargas Llosa (Tía Julia and La casa verde), I thought I was done with him. But this is way better than those other two. I think the main thing is that those other novels had fe
...more
Ken
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in a military camp in Lima, Peru. This story details the lives of the young cadets as they weave through the confinement, discipline and boredom at the camp.
A series of pranks that soon spiral out of control that leads to a death on the camp, this event could lead to jeopardising the entire military hierarchy.

You can tell Llosa is writing from he’s own personal experiences as the day to day life is perfectly described.
My only criticism would be that the story switches between first and third
...more
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El libro más difícil leer (emocionalmente) 3 36 Oct 22, 2018 04:47PM  
Reading 1001: The Time of the Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa 1 10 Apr 29, 2018 07:31AM  
Club de escritore...: CON CUARENTA AÑOS DE RETRASO 1 16 Oct 18, 2016 09:28AM  
Club de escritore...: Una lectura necesaria 1 26 Oct 12, 2016 01:35AM  
Lectura necesaria 1 11 Oct 12, 2016 01:27AM  

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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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“O comes o te comen, no hay más remedio.” 10 likes
“Los zorros del desierto de Sechura aúllan como demonios cuando llega la noche; ¿sabes por qué?: para quebrar el silencio que los aterroriza.” 8 likes
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