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La guerra del fin del mundo

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  9,093 ratings  ·  782 reviews
A finales del siglo XIX, en las tierras paupérrimas del noreste del Brasil, el chispazo de las arengas del Consejero, personaje mesiánico y enigmático, prenderá la insurrección de los desheredados. En circunstancias extremas como aquéllas, la consecución de la dignidad vital sólo podrá venir de la exaltación religiosa -el convencimiento fanático de la elección divina de lo ...more
Paperback, 719 pages
Published December 30th 2006 by Alfaguara (first published 1981)
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Howard Seeman I know this response if very late, however 100 pages in I had the exact same feeling. Now with 200ish pages to go I am absolutely loving the book and …moreI know this response if very late, however 100 pages in I had the exact same feeling. Now with 200ish pages to go I am absolutely loving the book and looking forward to reading more about the real history as well as additional Mario Llosa works.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
La Guerra Del Fin Del Mundo = The War of the End of the World, Mario Vargas Llosa

The War of the End of the World is one of the great modern historical novels. Inspired by a real episode in Brazilian history, Mario Vargas Llosa tells the unforgettable story of an apocalyptic movement, led by a mysterious prophet, in which prostitutes, beggars and bandits establish Canudos, a new republic, a libertarian paradise. The War of the End of the World is a 1981 novel written by Peruvian novelist Mario Va
Practical Eschatology

At precisely the time that Fyodor Dostoevsky was writing of the Grand Inquisitor and his confrontation with a Jesus returned to the world (1879-80), the events he was fictionalising were playing themselves out in the scrublands of the Brazilian State of Bahia. In fact, the Brazilian drama surpasses Dostoevsky’s plot by including all the celebrities from the original biblical stories. Who says history doesn’t repeat itself?

Mario Vargas Llosa’s The War of the End of the World
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

that's what happens when the world's most overrated living author (GGM) gets punched in the face by a far superior one (MVL). the fight occurred in a mexican moviehouse in 1976 and neither of 'em have ever discussed said incident. whatever went down (a woman? politics?), i wish i was there to give the chubby bastard a kick in the ribs when he was on the ground.

the war of the end of the world deserves the place in the pantheon occupied by marquez's silly epics. here we have a 20th century histor
Vit Babenco
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The War of the End of the World is a panoramic and polychromatic canvas – it is equally historical, philosophical, psychological and adventurous story and one of the deepest at that.
Do the rhetorical quarrels of bourgeois political parties have anything to do with the interests of the humble and downtrodden?

The question is posed and the entire novel is a meticulous answer to this question.
There are some strange pages in the history of humankind and the novel is an endeavor to open one of such pa
Henry Avila
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That a "mad man" walking from village to village in the poor northeast of Brazil in the state of Bahia, during the late 1800's preaching to the poor the brotherhood of all, and the end of the world would cause the deaths of countless people, and shake the very foundation of the new republic ... is unfathomable. Since the abolition of slavery and the monarchy less then a decade ago 1888, 1889, many homeless slaves have nowhere to go or feel wanted anywhere, white farm workers no jobs, neglected I ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
This riveting story about a true event in Brasilian history is a page-turner. The story of the surprising rise and inevitable fall of the commune of Canudo out in the middle of the Bahia region is told from several perspectives and using painstaking detail. The scenes of battle are excruciating and incredibly realistic. Once again, Mario Vargas Llosa has delivered a marvelous piece of literature here and one can see why he deserved his Nobel in 2010.

The narrative style is classic Vargas Llosa: d
3.5 stars — What an elephantine statement. I began the novel with the impression that it was kind of a Christian millenarian Germinal in terms of the bleakness of its storyline. By the end, however, it was clear to me that Vargas Llosa's model was predominantly Russian. When AC says here that "there is a certain archaism and hieratic nature in the writing," I think this is in part what he means, though the limited third-person voice never widens to full God-like omniscience.

The novel is based o
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hailed as his masterpiece, "War of the End of the World" is... megadense. It churns inside the brain as it desperately tries to make sense of what is inherently senseless. The world of the fanatical Counselor versus the entire republic of Brazil is perhaps one of the most exciting and well-written war novels ever, on the same scale as "Gone With the Wind". There are many flavors here, like in most of his other denser novels, & all of them are exceedingly palatable. There are no "Green House" she ...more
Em Lost In Books
“Instead of speaking of justice and injustice, freedom and oppression, classless society and class society, they talked in terms of God and the Devil.”

What a beautiful and sad story.
There are books at which we arrive to too soon, books that are forced down our throats by well meaning instructors and friends, books that are passed on with loving grace and books that are clung to relentlessly for years. There are books of which we hear much yet never open and obscure books that catch our eye in a musty booksellers that swiftly become those items with which to cudgel our own friends. There are books that you forget minutes after reading and books that haunt your steps for year ...more
At the end of the nineteenth century a rebellion broke out in the back lands of Bahia, Brazil.

The rebels who are poor people, bandits, people of uncertain ethnicity, former slaves, impoverished settlers, the disabled, all inspired by a charismatic religious leader and thoroughly alienated from the new Republic, were inspired by the hope that Dom Sebastian, the Portuguese King who had died in Morocco in the sixteenth century, would like a King Arthur return to rule over them, were eventually utte
When I was at High School I had an English teacher who was a fan of Dostoevsky, who told me that some people learned Russian solely to read Dostoevsky in the original. Sometimes I think it would be worth learning Spanish to read MVL in the original. This is the sixth of his novels that I’ve read and the third that I have rated with five stars. I understand that MVL himself considers this epic novel as his greatest achievement, (and bear in mind that he was awarded a Nobel Prize).

The novel is bas
3 and a half stars, which can be chucked to bad timing more than to the quality of the book.

One thing I can count on Mario Vargas Llosa for, is to educate me very thoroughly. This is my second book by him, and just as with “The Feast of the Goat” (, I came out the other side knowing things I couldn’t have imagined about places of the world I have not been to. I had never heard about Canudos, or the civil war that raged around the small village at the end
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extremely interesting book, brilliantly executed and conceived. It is clear that this is a writer of the first order, though I do not know (I doubt, actually) that the voice is representative of Vargas Llosa's other works.

An historical novel, set at the end of the 19th cen., there is a certain archaism and hieratic nature in the writing which is appropriate to -- and which works, given the topic -- but which can, in the end, be fatiguing.

The book explores a realm of moral ambiguity, and in a
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
¡Alabado sea el Buen Jesús!

I made it. I will not lie, I had a war with this book.

It was good. !Verdad! It was hard to read at times. !Muy verdad! 920 páginas en español! Not only one of the biggest books I have ever read, but in Spanish. It is by Mario Vargas Llosa, one of my favourite authors. The language skills are excelente, the characters buenos y malos, and the plot flows como el río.

¡Alabado sea paz.

Pero está guerra. A war. And it was very graphic and hard to take. Countless hordes of d
A.J. Howard
The War of the End of the World is, after The Feast of the Goat, only the second the second Mario Vargas Llosa novel I have read. But I still feel mostly secure in saying that Vargas Llosa, more than any other novelist I can think of this side of Tolstoy, has a better and more intuitive grasp of the subtleties of politics. By this, I don't mean such politica machinations as electioneering and how a bill becomes a law. Instead, Vargas Llosa's writing explores the essence of the political relation ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My second outing with the brilliant Mario Vargas Llosa and it’s been another lesson in the dark side of history. I started with The Feast of the Goat , which documented the last days of Rafael Trujillo and now I have worked my way through the extremely dense The War of the End of the World, which felt like 800 pages instead of the 568 pages it actually was.

This time the recounting was of The War of Canudos, which took place in late 1800’s Brazil, a subject I would rather have learned about duri
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
The two most prolific killers the world has ever known. No, not Hitler and Stalin. I refer to the twin scourge of mankind: RELIGION and POLITICS.

The RELIGION: a very charismatic, itinerant preacher named the Counselor managed to establish a large following among the poor, the unfortunate, the abnormal and the rejects of society in the 19th century Mexico. He mouths the name of Jesus Christ and preaches the message of hope, forgiveness and salvation for those who believe. They look at the governm
I find it very difficult to put into words my thoughts on this book. This is a historical novel based on the peasant revolt that took place in Brazil in the late 19th century when a renegade priest and his followers took over an abandoned estate in Canudos and established a community that refused to recognize the authority of the newly established republic, the old catholic church or civil marriages. Money was outlawed. There could be no taxation, census taking, marriage or ownership of property ...more
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Good God, this book is amazing. It has the massive cast and sprawl of War & Peace, and an apocalyptic feel that reminded me of - oh shut up - The Stand. It´s longer than it looks; Llosa has a terse style, so things happen at a rapid clip. It took me longer to read than I thought it would. But not like I was bored! This was one of those cases where I felt anxious as the end of the book neared, bummed out that it was going to be over soon.

It taught me that I need to pick books based on more than g
Despite its epic feel, fantastically evocative prose, mythic themes and strange, archetypal characters, I found little to propel me with much enthusiasm through this novel. The narrative is extremely granular, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but when one is not engaged in the detail of the plot or characters, it can become quite tedious. The story is full of symbolism, with certain characters directly evoking obvious archetypes, and though this helped establish the novel’s mythical atmosph ...more
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another tale of mayhem, history and the macabre from Vargas Llosa. Whereas Death in the Andes was compared to a Diane Arbus styled portrait the visual artists this book evokes is Heiryonmous Bosch or Breughal. A medieval meets the wild west landscape(turn of the century Brazil) of prophets, bandits, water witches, droughts, a storytelling dwarf, flagellants, miracle healers, madmen, plagues, vultures, rats, a revolutionary phrenologist, pariah dogs, Barons whose time has past, circus freaks, a u ...more
Bryan Murphy
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel reminds me forcefully of Conor Cruise O'Brien's play "Murderous Angels" about men in thrall to conflicting ideals that lead them to disaster. O'Brien's play was written in the 1960s and set in the 1960s. Vargas Llosa wrote his novel at the turn of the millennium but set it in the 1890s. The ideals that O’Brien focused on (the "Murderous Angels" in people’s heads) thus seem more contemporary: freedom and peace, whereas Vargas Llosa sets religious fundamentalism against nationalism, ide ...more
May 08, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
This is a book I ought to have picked up way back when I was a teen-ager and could stomach these excessively long-winded South American novels. Don't get me wrong...I found the book sort of fascinating until about the last 150 pages. And then I realized it was just going to go on in the same circles until it ran out of steam. And then, folks, I skipped to the final five pages and read those. The last paragraph is worth it. Those 145 pages I skipped, I find it difficult to believe I've missed any ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a doomed catholic uprising in the sertao in 19th century NE Brazil. Flocking to the town of Canudos, drawn by the magnetism of the ascetic wandering figure known as the Counselor, a mishmash of freaks, murderers, bandits, mystics, communists and otherwise downtrodden masess begin an uprising against the newly formed Brazilian republic. Fearing the republics secular posture, the religious fanatics call for a return of the monarchy and prepare for the inevitable confrontation with the ...more
Robbie Bruens
Nobel Laureate Vargas Llosa recounts the epic story of the Canudos rebellion in fin-de-siècle Brazil in an interminable novel that resembles an impeccably detailed outline for a costume drama miniseries. There are so many characters and settings that the book occasionally feels like studying for an exam. As someone with a bachelors' degree in history and a longtime intense fascination with tales of the past, I would imagine I am exactly the target audience for this type of book. Alas, while ther ...more
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my friend Bob
This is the first book by Mario Vargas Llosa that I read, and I am ashamed that I never attempted to read any of his books before. Of course, as a Brazilian, I may be biased about this book, but I felt totally mesmerized by it. It is an epic telling the story of a peasant revolt on the backlands of Brazil on the late 1900’s. But, against the historical background of factual military maneuvers, political machinations and religious fundamentalism, the characters – both fictional and historical - a ...more
Dec 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The politics of South America, always told in allegorical format, similar to the One Hundred Years of Solitude. I wish I had a table that related the fact to the fiction.
The battle scenes were sometimes repetitive and even harked back to the Alamo, The 300 Spartans and other tragic epic battles.
Alexis Karahalios
This is a truly epic masterpiece, an impossibly ambitious book which nevertheless succeeds completely, and confirms that Vargas Llosa deserves to be considered among the great authors of all time. Definitely a "must read"! ...more
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mosca by: I stole this book from JSou
Shelves: favorites

This book is not for everyone. If you are easily offended, or your stomach is weak; you will not like this book.

But, having said that, I can only describe this book as a masterpiece--that is not easily described.

The War of the End of the World is a work of historical fiction, set among particular events that occurred in the very late nineteenth century in northeastern Brazil. Wikipedia provides a simplified background Here. This background is sketchy. But I have fou
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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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