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The Neighborhood

Mario Vargas Llosa

A thrilling tale of desire and Peruvian corruption from the world-renowned Nobel Laureate.

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From the Nobel Laureate comes a politically charged detective novel weaving through the underbelly of Peruvian privilege. In the 1990s, during the turbulent and deeply corrupt years of Alberto Fujimori’s presidency, two wealthy couples of Lima’s high society become embroiled in a disturbing vortex of erotic adventures and politically driven blackmail.

One day Enrique, a high-profile businessman, receives a visit from Rolando Garro, the editor of a notorious magazine that specializes in salacious exposés. Garro presents Enrique with lewd pictures from an old business trip and demands that he invest in the magazine. Enrique refuses, and the next day the pictures are on the front page. Meanwhile, Enrique’s wife is in the midst of a passionate and secret affair with the wife of Enrique’s lawyer and best friend. When Garro shows up murdered, the two couples are thrown into a whirlwind of navigating Peru’s unspoken laws and customs, while the staff of the magazine embark on their greatest exposé yet.

Ironic and sensual, provocative and redemptive, the novel swirls into the kind of restless realism that has become Mario Vargas Llosa’s signature style. A twisting, unpredictable tale, The Neighborhood is at once a scathing indictment of Fujimori’s regime and a crime thriller that evokes the vulgarity of freedom in a corrupt system.

Critic Reviews

In the star-studded world of the Latin American novel, Mario Vargas Llosa is a supernova.

Raymond Sokolov, The Wall Street Journal
Critic Reviews

‘With its blend of documentary sources and invention, The Neighborhood is Peruvian pulp fiction of rare, exaggerated nastiness and the darkest satire.’

Evening Standard
Critic Reviews

’[A] trail of family scandals, tabloid exposés, blackmail and subterfuge. . . a dish of revenge eaten cold. . . its flavours, if occasionally crude, taste strong enough to satisfy those readers who will treat the novel’s closely-observed Peru as a land of myth. . . Vargas Llosa has ingeniously deployed the erotic intrigues, high-society secrets, and pot-boiling plot twists of the Latin American telenovela. . . [The Neighborhood] pulses along with a zest and cunning not commonly found among octogenarian Nobel laureates.’

Boyd Tonkin, Financial Times
Critic Reviews

’A busy fresco of betrayal and retribution.’

Critic Reviews

’The Nobel Prize-winning author paints the posh folk of Nineties Puru in lurid colours, while the book’s strongest moments arise from Lima’s impoverished Barrios Altos neighbourhood. . . a colourful tale’

Mail on Sunday
Critic Reviews

’Compulsively entertaining, thought provoking and literate. . . The story is told with a bravura and gusto that it is infectious.’

Nudge Books
MarioVargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Peru in 1936. He is the author of some of the last half-century’s most important novels, including The War of the End of the World, The Feast of the Goat, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and Conversation in the Cathedral. In 2010 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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