Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mario Vargas Llosa: The Bad Girl

Katie Toms reviews Mario Vargas Llosa's "The Bad Girl".
In 1950, 15-year-old Ricardo becomes obsessed with an exotic, mysterious girl. Over 40 years he continually chances upon her; each time, she sleeps with him despite having a new husband for each city in which they meet. The only crime of the 'bad' girl in question seems to be that she asks for what she wants when it comes to sex and refuses to say she loves him. Her punishment? Near death and permanent vaginal damage at the hands of her brutal Japanese husband. The final reckoning involves cancer, a double mastectomy and painful death. There are some vivid passages here, but on the whole this novel is a glib, disjointed monologue. Sadistic pornography may prove titillating for some, but it makes for dull reading.
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