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Haunted all her life by feelings of terror and emptiness, forty-nine-year-old Urania Cabral returns to her native Dominican Republic - and finds herself reliving the events of l961, when the capital was still called Trujillo City and one old man terrorized a nation of three million. Rafael Trujillo, the depraved ailing dictator whom Dominicans call the Goat, controls his inner circle with a combination of violence and blackmail. In Trujillo's gaudy palace, treachery and cowardice have become a way of life. But Trujillo's grasp is slipping. There is a conspiracy against him, and a Machiavellian revolution already underway that will have bloody consequences of its own. In this 'masterpiece of Latin American and world literature, and one of the finest political novels ever written' ("Bookforum"), Mario Vargas Llosa recounts the end of a regime and the birth of a terrible democracy, giving voice to the historical Trujillo and the victims, both innocent and complicit, drawn into his deadly orbit.
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About the Author

MARIO VARGAS LLOSA was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010 "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat." Peru's foremost writer, he has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor, and the Jerusalem Prize. His many works include The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The War of the End of the World, and The Storyteller. He lives in London.

Reviews

Vargas Llosa's fictional portrait of ruthless Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo focuses on the end of the old "goat's" life. Trujillo, who well understood that his power depended upon the United States, is said to have sought his protection and promotion by paying Congressmen and other U.S. "leeches" the equivalent of the annual military aid his nation received from Washington. Although the United States eventually got fed up with his excesses, its fear of a second Communist regime in the Caribbean kept him in power. So entirely ruthless was Trujillo that he even dispatched his physician off the docks of Santo Domingo, at the time named Ciudad Trujillo, when he was told that his prostate was cancerous. Vargas Llosa relates Trujillo's story from the perspective of Urania Cabral, a successful New York lawyer who has spent a lifetime in exile but returns to her homeland when the tyrant is finally murdered. Urania hopes to rid herself of the demons that have possessed her since 1961, when as a teenager she was battered and humiliated by the impotent and vindictive old dictator. Vargas Llosa, one of Latin America's master storytellers, has retold this nightmare with evenhanded eloquence and exuberant detail. Recommended for all but squeamish readers. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/01.] Jack Shreve, Allegany Coll. of Maryland, Cumberland Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"A fierce, edgy and enthralling book...Mr. Vargas Llosa has pushed the boundaries of the traditional historical novel, and in doing so has written a book of harrowing power and lasting resonance." --The New York Times"[Vargas Llosa] is one of our greatest and most influential novelists. His new novel confirms his importance. In the world of fiction his continued exploration of the often-perilous intersection of politics and life has enriched 20th century literature...In The Feast of the Goat, Vargas Llosa paints a portrait that is darkly comic, poignant, admirable and horrifying all at once." --Los Angeles Times"The book brings readers to the precipice of terror and lets us look into the abyss of cruelty as it poses and answers the question: Why do people not oppose dictators?...He has by his body of work already secured a place as one of the monumental writers of our time." --The Boston Globe"With the publication of The Feast of the Goat, Vargas Llosa reassumes his place as one of the world's most important contemporary novelists." --USA Today A fierce, edgy and enthralling book...Mr. Vargas Llosa has pushed the boundaries of the traditional historical novel, and in doing so has written a book of harrowing power and lasting resonance. "The New York Times" [Vargas Llosa] is one of our greatest and most influential novelists. His new novel confirms his importance. In the world of fiction his continued exploration of the often-perilous intersection of politics and life has enriched 20th century literature...In "The Feast of the Goat," Vargas Llosa paints a portrait that is darkly comic, poignant, admirable and horrifying all at once. "Los Angeles Times" The book brings readers to the precipice of terror and lets us look into the abyss of cruelty as it poses and answers the question: Why do people not oppose dictators?...He has by his body of work already secured a place as one of the monumental writers of our time. "The Boston Globe" With the publication of "The Feast of the Goat," Vargas Llosa reassumes his place as one of the world's most important contemporary novelists. "USA Today"" "A fierce, edgy and enthralling book...Mr. Vargas Llosa has pushed the boundaries of the traditional historical novel, and in doing so has written a book of harrowing power and lasting resonance." --"The New York Times" "[Vargas Llosa] is one of our greatest and most influential novelists. His new novel confirms his importance. In the world of fiction his continued exploration of the often-perilous intersection of politics and life has enriched 20th century literature...In "The Feast of the Goat," Vargas Llosa paints a portrait that is darkly comic, poignant, admirable and horrifying all at once." --"Los Angeles Times" "The book brings readers to the precipice of terror and lets us look into the abyss of cruelty as it poses and answers the question: Why do people not oppose dictators?...He has by his body of work already secured a place as one of the monumental writers of our time." --"The Boston Globe" "With the publication of "The Feast of the Goat," Vargas Llosa reassumes his place as one of the world's most important contemporary novelists." --"USA Today"

"This wasn't an enemy he could defeat like the hundreds, the thousands he had confronted and conquered over the years, buying them, intimidating them, killing them." So thinks Rafael Trujillo, "the Goat," dictator of the Dominican Republic, on the morning of May 30, 1961 a day that will end in his assassination. The "enemy" is old age at 70, Trujillo, who has always prided himself on his grooming and discipline, is shaken by bouts of incontinence and impotence. Vargas Llosa divides his narrative between three different story lines. The first concerns Urania Cabral, the daughter of one of Trujillo's closest associates, Agustín Cabral. She is 14 at the time of the Trujillo assassination and, as we gradually discover, was betrayed by her father to Trujillo. Since then, she has lived in the U.S. At 49, she impulsively returns on a visit and slowly reveals the root of her alienation. Urania's character is a little too pat, however. Vargas Llosa's triumph is Trujillo's story. We follow the sly, vile despot, with his petty rages, his lust, his dealings with his avaricious family, through his last day, with mingled feelings of repulsion and awe. Like Stalin, Trujillo ruled by turning his rage without warning against his subordinates. Finally, Vargas Llosa crosscuts Urania's story and Trujillo's with that of Trujillo's assassins; first, as they wait to ambush him, and then as they are tracked down, captured and tortured to death, with almost medieval ferocity, by Trujillo's son, Ramfis. Gathering power as it rolls along, this massive, swift-moving fictional take on a grim period in Dominican history shows that Vargas Llosa is still one of the world's premier political novelists. (Nov.) Forecast: Vargas Llosa is on solid ground with The Day of the Goat, mining a rich vein. The former Peruvian presidential candidate's author tour should attract crowds, and a striking jacket will seduce browsers. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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