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(06/25/2008) Death In The Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa. New York. 1996. Farrar Straus Giroux. Translated From The Spanish By Edith Grossman. keywords: Literature Translated Peru Latin America. 276 pages. Jacket design by Michael Ian Kaye. Author photograph by Jerry Bauer. 0374140014.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   DEATH IN THE ANDES is Mario Vargas Llosa's first work of fiction since the best-selling IN PRAISE OF THE STEPMOTHER. The novel tells the story of army corporal Lituma and his deputy Tomas, who have been assigned to treacherous guard duty in an isolated, run-down mining community in the mountains of Peru. The men are homesick and far from enthusiastic about serving as foot soldiers in the Peruvian Army's ongoing war against the Shining Path guerillas. So, to pass the time, Tomas tells the story of his great love, Mercedes a troublemaking prostitute who leads him on a precarious, cross-country adventure. But life in the Andes soon turns eventful too. Lituma and Tomas find themselves caught up in a series of mysterious disappearances involving the Shining Path and, soon enough, a local couple performing cannibalistic sacrifices with a strange similarity to the Dionysian rituals of ancient Greece. Part detective novel and part political allegory, DEATH IN THE ANDES offers a panoramic view of Peru today - not only of the current political violence and social upheaval but also of the country's roots in Indian culture and pre-Hispanic mysticism. With his usual ?lan, Mario Vargas Llosa builds a magical assemblage of narrators, time frames, and sub-plots, which bursts with unforgettable characters - Senderista guerillas, disenfranchised Indians, eccentric townspeople, and overly curious foreigners. The result is a work of suspense, narrative drive, and keen insight into one of Latin America's most fascinating and complex countries.

Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian writer who is one of Latin America's leading novelists and essayists.

 

 

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