Darkest Peru

John Sturrock

Mario Vargas Llosa has written a fine novel, political and unstintingly pessimistic, a dire collation of the fiasco of a single Peruvian life with the chronic mismanagement and distempers of Peru. As narrative, it may be complicatedly told, with much canny transiting between present and past, but the formal ingenuities work to the one end, of delivering a full and unhappy report on the way things have been or are in the novelist’s homeland.

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[*] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Writer of Colombia. Cape, 186 pp., £10.95, 5 March, 0 224 02384 5.