The book is set in 1950s Peru. Pedro Camacho is a Bolivian writer of peculiar and a little eccentric radio plays which are famous all over Peru. But suddenly the plays become a mess, characters from different plays appear in plays where they do not belong. Pedro Camacho seems to have lost overview or is it just some artistic expression?
Pedro's story is intertwined with that of Mario, a student and wanna be professional writer. He falls in love with his aunt Julia, the divorced sister of uncle's wife, who is some 13 years older than Mario. When they decide to run off and marry the familiy becomes panicky as all their hopes lay on Mario.
This was the first Llosa book I read. I was not disappointed, the story is entertaining as well as the chapters of the radio plays, which gave some extensive report on 1950s Lima and it's social structure. That this book is partly autobiographical makes it just more interesting as Mario Vargas Llosa aslo married his aunt Julia, who was thirteen years his senior. But the book was actually written when those two were already divorced again. As a matter of fact Julia Urquidi Illanes wrote a book herself, it is called Lo que Varguitas no Dijo (What Varguitas didn’t say), which is telling her side of the story.
★ ★ ★ ★