Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa is a renowned Peruvian writer, playwright, journalist, essayist, and politician. Born on March 28, 1936, in Arequipa, Peru, he is one of Latin America's most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading writers of his generation. Vargas Llosa rose to fame in the 1960s with novels such as 'The Time of the Hero' (La ciudad y los perros), 'The Green House' (La casa verde), and 'Conversation in the Cathedral' (Conversación en la catedral). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010 for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat. His work is characterized by his sophisticated style and deep psychological insights, often reflecting on the complexities of Latin American society and politics.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The War of the End of the World

    The book is a historical novel that recounts the War of Canudos, a conflict in late 19th-century Brazil over religious fanaticism, political instability, and social inequality. The story is centered around an apocalyptic movement led by a charismatic, messianic figure who convinces the poor and downtrodden to rise up against the Brazilian government, leading to a brutal and bloody conflict. The book explores themes of faith, power, poverty, and the destructive potential of fervent belief.

  2. 2. The Feast of the Goat: A Novel

    "The Feast of the Goat" is a historical novel set in the Dominican Republic during the rule of dictator Rafael Trujillo. It follows the story of Urania Cabral, a successful lawyer returning to her homeland after 30 years of self-imposed exile, and her struggle to confront the traumatic past that led to her departure. The narrative alternates between Urania's personal story and the brutal regime of Trujillo, providing a stark depiction of political tyranny and its effects on individual lives.

  3. 3. The Time of the Hero

    "The Time of the Hero" is a novel set in a military academy in Lima, Peru, where a group of cadets try to maintain their individuality and resist the dehumanizing military routine. The story revolves around a stolen exam paper, the ensuing investigation, and the brutal fallout. The novel explores themes of power, corruption, and the struggle for identity within a rigid and oppressive system, offering a critical look at the military institution and its effects on society.

  4. 4. Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

    The novel is a semi-autobiographical tale of a young man in Peru who falls in love with his divorced aunt, Julia, while working at a radio station. Their scandalous romance unfolds amidst the backdrop of a chaotic radio station run by a brilliant but unstable Bolivian scriptwriter who churns out daily soap operas. The narrative alternates between the protagonist's real life and the melodramatic world created by the scriptwriter, blending reality and fiction in a humorous and poignant exploration of love and creativity.

  5. 5. Conversation in the Cathedral

    Set in mid-20th century Peru, "Conversation in the Cathedral" is a complex narrative that explores the corruption, decay, and turmoil of the society under the dictatorial rule of Manuel A. Odria. The story mainly revolves around two characters - a wealthy newspaper owner's son and his family's former chauffeur. Their chance meeting leads to a lengthy conversation that unravels the intricate web of political and personal corruption, disillusionment, and lost dreams in their lives and in their country. The novel is a profound examination of the power dynamics, societal decay, and the human condition in a politically oppressive environment.

  6. 6. The Storyteller

    "The Storyteller" is a novel that explores the tension between modern civilization and indigenous culture. The narrative alternates between two perspectives: one of a successful documentary filmmaker in Italy who is haunted by his past in Peru, and the other of an indigenous storyteller from an Amazonian tribe. The filmmaker recalls his college friend, who was fascinated by the indigenous cultures of Peru and disappeared into the Amazon rainforest. As the story unfolds, it becomes increasingly apparent that the indigenous storyteller and the filmmaker's lost friend are one and the same. This revelation leads to a profound examination of the effects of cultural assimilation, the value of tradition, and the power of storytelling.

  7. 7. The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta

    This novel revolves around a failed Peruvian revolution and the man who attempted to lead it, Alejandro Mayta. The story is told from the perspective of a novelist who is researching Mayta's life and the events surrounding the failed uprising. The narrative oscillates between the present and the past, unraveling the complex threads of Mayta's personal history, political beliefs, and the broader socio-political context of Peru. The novel explores themes of truth, fiction, and the blurry lines between them.

  8. 8. The Bad Girl

    The novel follows the life of Ricardo Somocurcio, a man from Lima, Peru, who becomes infatuated with a mysterious girl he meets in his youth. This girl, who constantly reinvents her identity, reappears throughout his life in various guises and names, leading him on a tumultuous and passionate journey that spans continents and decades. As Ricardo pursues a career as a translator and moves through different countries, he encounters the enigmatic woman in various circumstances, each time falling under her spell despite the pain and complexity she brings into his life. The story is a reflection on love, obsession, and the transformative power of relationships over time.

  9. 9. Death In Andes

    "Death in the Andes" is a haunting and atmospheric novel set in the remote Andean village of Naccos, where two soldiers are sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of three men. As they delve deeper into the village's secrets, they uncover a dark history of violence, political turmoil, and superstition. Blending elements of mystery, political commentary, and magical realism, this gripping tale explores the complexities of human nature and the impact of Peru's turbulent past on its present.