Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “امتداح الخالة” as Want to Read:
امتداح الخالة
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

امتداح الخالة

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  5,990 ratings  ·  697 reviews
رواية
Paperback, 152 pages
Published 1999 by دار المدى (first published 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about امتداح الخالة, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about امتداح الخالة

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,990 ratings  ·  697 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Jibran
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eros, nobel, fiction, hispanic
In a Danish film when a schoolteacher is accused of sexually abusing a girl it is as though the accusation proves the guilt; the seriousness of the offence leaves no room for hesitation. It is believed that innocent children unsullied by life's deceptions always tell the truth. But later it transpires that the child described things, that could only be interpreted as sexual abuse, to spite her teacher against whom she had held a small grudge. Even so the man is unable to wash off the stigma. He ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
I hesitate between 3 and 4 stars here. As always, the writing is fantastic. There are also five chapters which give dialog to paintings by Jordaens, Boucher, Francis Bacon, Szyslo, and Fra Angelico which are gorgeous. But the premise of incest initiated by the kid is, well, disturbing. That being said, there is also 3 pages on Don Rogoberto taking a shit which is insane as well. Not my favorite MVL, but a short and interesting read.
Fabian
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only the Marquis de Sade has succeeded in crafting an epic erotic novel. He made a whole list of very dirty acts into a catalog of love—a true art piece. Mario Vargas Llosa has 150 pages to make the Reader feel aroused and inspired by his prose construction, and it gets done. “In Praise of the Stepmother” is seemingly-simple, yet this is its (Post!)modern edge: there is art commentary occurring concurrently with the plot’s development. Gosh how I envy these spouts with the muse: Vargas Llosa is ...more
Luís C.
There are some fashionable paradigms in the world:
First. They say that life begins at age 40
Second. Sex in marriage becomes boring over time.
In the book In Praise of the Stepmother the Peruvian Mario Vargas signs down on the first paradigm and highlights it even more, showing the almost ninfeed voluptuousness of the forty-year-old Dona Lucrecia who as a virgin flower awakens to life having her first experience with the bee that eagerly sucks its nectar to produce honey.
It demystifies the second
...more
John David
Dec 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Regina Andreassen
Disturbing but well written although too short. What I don’t really like is the ending for it demonises the victim - even if the victim seems to have known what he was doing he was still a 9 year old, a child. I thus cannot understand why Lucrecia seems to gather people’s sympathies. She was a pedophile, even if she comes across as ‘loving’.
Virginia
It's funny how things stick in your head.

I remember reading this and thinking "These stories are supposed to be erotic? Am I really supposed to be turned on by loving descriptions of some guy clipping his toenails in a certain shape, or another one cleansing out his colon? Really?"

Then I got older, and realized that people are far more fucked up than the folk Vargas Llosa wrote about.

Irina Stoica
I don't even want to start on this...incest and monsters and creatures and domination and organs and some more incest. The only thing that made this book readable is llosa's style. other than that, horrible.
Simona
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
A story, that doesn’t leave you indifferent, has at the heart of it incestuous relation between stepmother and child(Alfonso), and the main story is surrounded with the erotic relation between Lucrecia and her husband Rigoberto, the relation between husband and his experiencing of his body. The entire story is accompanied by a literary interpretation of the five pictures, passing from classics, almost idyllic motives, to the modern, more macabre style and all of them reflects current situation/d ...more
-Bookish Gal-
Okay so I have been putting this off.... procrastinating purposely to write a review for this one.

The reason being this book kinda freaked me out, to be honest still does. I have read plenty about enfant terrible, seen a couple of brats but the kid in this book knocks the ball out of the park for sure. Evidently reading a book without glancing at its reviews has its repercussions a plenty sometimes.

Wanting to expand my horizons, to experiment and find authors new to me who have a credible line o
...more
Holly
Revolting subject matter (incest, pedophilia) offset by beautiful, intense writing. Helen Lane's translation is brilliant. In Praise of the Stepmother is erotica, but that's not why I was uncomfortable. Vargas Llosa can make nosehair-picking sound sexy. OK, so he valiantly attempts to do so. I'm just picturing him with a constant boner while writing this, because he finds eroticism in a lampshade. I'm not sure it would have been any less effective had the stepson been of age, but maybe I'm just ...more
Esraa
Jun 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was such a strong text to read. Actually, I can't say I liked it that much, since it has many disturbing images and ideas such as the pedophilia tendencies of Lucretia or the deformation that Don Rigober describes and takes pride in along with his elongated hygiene scenes.
What I found interesting in this novel is the catchy way of composing and weaving the scenes and the happenings; also the multiple voices one finds inside the text, it is such a strong and eloquent switching between
...more
Khashayar Mohammadi
As an avid reader of Sade and Masoch I'm in no way opposed to the book's moral ambiguity.

My problem with this book is the shameless fetishism between shallow characters that lack the psychological depth and motivation for their actions, and instead of giving us a more elaborate description of the characters, half the book is filled with tiresome ramblings that distract one from the already half-hearted story. So we end up with a total of 60 pages, divided between 3 characters.

One of the worst bo
...more
Ernest Junius
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don Rigoberto’s carnal fascination with his beautiful second wife, Lucrecia, is secretly shared by his cherubic son, Alfonsito. Lucrecia on the other hand seems to be intrigued by this development. She is forever pondering whether the love Alfonsito gives her, straightforward as it may seem, like hugs, kisses on the cheek, a little peck on the lips…, is innocent or is concealing another more ambitious motive. A validation comes into sight when she is told by the maid that she saw Alfonsito had b ...more
Lavinia
Sep 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fiction
i really-really liked llosa's style in this book. i don't care that everybody considers it an erotic novel, i could feel the fullness and the richness of the language even if i read it in translation [a very good one]. llosa juggles with words and synonyms and there's no way one becomes bored with the book. maybe i sound a bit over-enthusiastic, the truth is it doesn't often happen to me to like someone's words and phrases so much.


***
llosa primeste de la mine 4 stelute pentru bijuteria numita el
...more
Neal Adolph
A minor work from a major author is still an exciting read. A fantastic read, even. And, though it is tempting to give this book three stars, that would only be because as the work compares to Llosa's other work it is not uniquely strong. Compared to most other literature, though, it is nothing short of astounding.

In this work Llosa considers sexual pleasure, perfection, happiness, joy, and family, childhood, innocense and corruption. He tackles the magical and pagan and the influence of desire
...more
Luisa
Aug 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this is a wicked, wicked little book, but oh so worth the read. If you're a fan of you might dig this, but honestly, aside from the connection of forbidden relationships, the deeper connection of self-deception is more entrancing, and the young boy in this book is simply evil, not merely curious nor testing his personality. Why read it then? Well, there is a catharsis that ends the book, a very satisfying comeuppance that Nobokov never really delivered to Humbert Humbert, and there is a deep ...more
Elise
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very erotic and beautifully written book, but it does engage some taboo subject matter, so if you require conventional morality in your reading material, this is not the novella for you. However, if you do decide to read "In Praise of the Stepmother," don't cheat yourself by reading this one in e-book format. In an e-book, you will miss out on the glossy, colored plates of beautiful classic works of visual art that reflect the story's subject matter. Anyone who enjoys sensual pleasure and is l ...more
Chuck Lowry
Mar 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I recently read and enjoyed Death in the Andes, my first Mario Vargas Llosa novel. To bolster my poor knowledge of and feeling for South American literature, I thought to read another of his, and the one I ended up with, just almost at random, was In Praise of the Stepmother.

How was I to know that this was an "erotic novel"?

I am fine reading books with sex as an element of the plot and character development. I am less enthusiastic reading books about sex, with long passages on the hygiene of var
...more
Judyta Szaciłło
Romantic and naturalistic. Sexual and physiological. The opposites melted into a surprisingly fluent narrative and a consistent picture. Brave adventure into the human soul, and you need to be brave to understand the full power of the book - brave enough to admit that it is not about some abstract people, but about things that can happen and at times do happen in your own head.
Lucas
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a good mix of erudition and erotism. I enjoyed the dialogues and the Lucrecia's anxiety with the apparent innocent advances of her son in law.

A good book but a major defect is its lack of verbal complexity (in other words, it's not Nabokov).
أبو يوسف
It's just a nasty sex story does not deserve the reputation.
Igor S
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A perfectly reasonable piece of literary porn. Nice edition - with pictures!
Victoria Olivo
I just can not believe that this author won the Nobel Prize. This book is just awful! How can a book written by a novel prize winning author filled with art be so ugly??? I do not under any circumstances recommend. This is just a porno in book form. I feel the premise could have been very thought provoking and interestingly approached. But he opted for a cheap porno and people are looking way too deep into it to justify having read and enjoyed a porno.
Carrie
Jun 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I made the unfortunate decision to fight my tendency to be an ADD reader and promised myself I would finish one book before picking up another right before choosing "In Praise of the Stepmother." I can't stand the Don Rigoberto character! It's supposed to be a novel about a step-mother who discovers that her 10 year old step-son has a crush on her. But it turns out to be this long description of Don Rigoberto's erotic enjoyment of elaborate personal hygiene rituals. And then, if that wasn't bad ...more
Laura
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This books deals with a very taboo topic so it may not be for everyone. That being said, and without giving away any spoilers, I will say it was a beautifully written story. I think if you decide you are going to read this book it should not be on an “ereader” (e.g., Nook), but that is because the artwork that is depictured in this book is so pleasant to view on paper and in context with the chapter in which it is placed.

Here is an example of the writing style of this book that I enjoyed:

“We hav
...more
Caroline
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't really sure where this book was going when I started reading it. It seemed to focus on the sexual fantasies and activities of Don Rigoberto, collector of erotic paintings and his new and younger wife Lucrecia. The reproduction of some of these paintings in the book provide the theme to some of the stories told and as the book progresses, so do the erotic nature of the paintings.

But Don Rigoberto has a son, Alfonso, an angelic looking cherub, affectionate and seemingly guileless. All he
...more
Yasmeen

This novel is light, almost too light. I would not recommend it at all if you're used to eroticism in books serving a high purpose. It seemed like a peculiar, less direct, cheap erotic novel. If there's anything good about this book, it's the way Llosa describes things (not necessarily what he chooses to describe.) If you want good literature with philosophized eroticism, read something by Kundera and skip this one.

P.S. I've been meaning to read Llosa's work for a long time, especially 'The Fea
...more
Ferris
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in one sitting. Llosa offers the reader an erotic, provocative, shocking view of the human spirit. The narration moves from the tale of a man, his second wife and his son to interpretive narration focused on classic works of art. His theme takes the reader deep into the instinctive and sensual part of their being and boldly suggests that it is a fine line between what is a human being's dark side and evil. Where does sensuality become depravity? The references to and interpretations ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Strong Wind
  • فتاة الترومبون
  • If I Were You
  • The Cardboard House
  • Aphrodite
  • None to Accompany Me
  • The Terrors of Ice and Darkness
  • If I Love You, Am I Trapped Forever?
  • 62: A Model Kit
  • Piano Stories
  • Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand: A Novel of Adam and Eve
  • The Carpenter's Pencil
  • The Virtuoso
  • Sultry Moon
  • Varamo
  • Elsewhere, Perhaps
  • قبلة يهوذا
  • Tierra del Fuego
See similar books…
5,105 followers
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
“Because happiness was temporal, individual, in exceptional circumstances twofold, on extremely rare occasions tripartite, and never collective, civic.” 3 likes
“Porque a felicidade era temporária, individual, excepcionalmente dual, raríssimas vezes tripartida e nunca coletiva, municipal.” 1 likes
More quotes…