I’ve completed another stop on my world tour, despite being torn between other enjoyable reading temptations that don’t further that journey. This one was a fun semi-autobiographical tour of Peru with Nobelist Mario Vargas Llosa. It was the July read for the Nobel Goodreads group. It also finally gets me to South America, which is the only region I have yet to visit on my 6 books, 6 countries, 6 continents challenge. Here’s my current July – September progress chart and my review of Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter.
July to October Goals:
- Orange July
- Around the World: Africa: 1, 2 Asia 1 South America
12 3 4 5 6 Other countries 12 3 4
- 1001 Books
1 2 34 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
- Pulitzer: July Aug Sept
- Great Africa Reads: July Aug Sept
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa is a delightful romp through the streets of Lima. The novel alternates between the tale of a young law student’s romance with his aunt’s sister who arrives from Bolivia after her divorce and episodes of the radio serials composed by the recently hired Bolivian scriptwriter working at a station owned by the laws student’s employers. The protagonist has a part time job at the other station in the same group, as news director, and he befriends the new scriptwriter. The writer is slowly unraveling from overwork, and it shows in his writing, in which stories from different scheduled programs become increasingly entangled and confused. Meanwhile the romance between the 18 year old news director and the middle-aged divorcee causes scandal in the family, and a resulting madcap search of the countryside for a mayor willing to overlook details of the marriage laws eventually ensues. The writing itself is delightful and amusing, painting little glimpses of Peruvian life as the plot moves quickly along. This book doesn’t try to do anything heavy or profound, but it is a marvelous diversion.