The Discreet Hero
Felicito Yanaque has raised himself from poverty to ownership of a trucking business. His two sons work for him. He receives a threatening letter demanding protection money. The police don't take him seriously, Felicito refuses to pay up and gets sucked into a nightmare. He becomes a reluctant public hero. Then his mistress is kidnapped, and matters become seriously com
In one, the owner of a trucking company is being extorted by presumptive gangsters. In the next, we meet again Don Rigoberto, his wife Lucrecia and their precocious son Fonchito. That trio in the latter storyline will be familiar to readers of Vargas Llosa. They starred in the steamy In Praise of the Stepmother and The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto. There was less steam here, not even a mention of what went on in those two volumes. But the characters were otherwise ...more
After reading The Discreet Hero, I plan to read this great author’s other books. Reviewers have praised this newest novel, but said his earlier works are even better. He truly is a m ...more
The book is played out in the lives of two businessmen, who are tested in different ways. Each could capitulate under the weight of pressure, including friends and family urging them to play it safe, but they find a stubborn streak out of sheer bloodymindedness and a refusal to compromise on their princip ...more
Well, Mario Vargas Llosa didn't disappoint. In his unique style, he delivered, once again.
I won't go into details, because you really need to read this book. It's not an action-packed novel. It's a novel that, little by little, peels the layers of the Peruvian society in times of neoliberal politics, new commercial successes and old mentalities that often clash with the fast-paced world. The weaving of all these components into one seemingly regular story about regular ...more
This is primarily a tale of relationships between fathers and sons, of the love between them, or the absence of it, and the consequences of neglect. It is a tale of the wages of business s ...more
The first three quarters of ' ...more
Felicito Yanaque is a businessman in Piura, Peru, who receives letters demanding protection money but refuses to be bullied. Meanwhile, in Lima, Rigoberto is on the verge of retirement when he’s drawn into his boss’s scheme to disinherit a pair o ...more
So, who is the hero? This question will torment me some time.
If somebody reads this novel, i will be glad to talk to you about it.
There are two story strings that are told in turns. First they evolve seperately, but end up connected to each other.
I liked the moral concept of the book and how much love and detail was put in the characters and their back-stories.
Now, being honest, this is not one of his best, can't be compared with some masterpieces he wrote and I have read ...more
This novel follows two contemporary fellows who experience personal crises that lead to an intersecti ...more
I almost gave it five stars, but grump that I am, I had some cavils with the narrative structure and the occasional ungainliness of the diction in the translation. But who cares in the end? It's a good read and a slice ...more
Llosa is one of my favorite writers.. I guess I keep repeating that, And this time he didn't fail me!
Two different stories, two different worlds that came to a one ending. His favorite characters from previous works .. "Don Rigoberto & Dona Lucrecis " on one side, on the other, " Sergeant Lituma & Captain Silva" .. One party trying to defend their employer& friend from the greediness of his twins, the other trying to solve a crime committed by the son of a big merchandise. ...more
Like Mexican telenovelas (which is ironic, because Vargas Llosa bashes them somewhere in the book), one of the stories begins with a Cinderelly plot, and the other with a more solid plot of extortio ...more
However the book's other main character ...more
The old MVL: I'm glad we haven't lost him.
The Discreet Hero is the parallel stories of two seemingly unconn ...more
Here are some of my impressions, in lieu of a classical review.
Imagine a South American soap opera. Now imagine that it's written by one of the world's foremost living writers. In a nutshell, that's The Discreet Hero. Family histories, crime, drama, and social commentary are all brought together masterfully. The soap opera pa ...more