Vargas Llosa, MarioThe Notebooks of Don RigobertoHard Cover. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. First American Edition. Fine / Dust Jacket Included.Translated from the original Spanish by Edith Grossman. First American edition. Signed by Vargas Llosa on the title page. Publisher's black cloth and blue boards, lettered in black and metallic blue, with the publisher's advertising slip laid in; in the original pictorial dust jacket designed by Susan Mitchell, lettered in white. A fine copy; unclipped dust jacket, with only some slight rippling to the front panel, else fine. A fresh copy, signed by the author. First published in 1997 under the title Los cuadernos de Don Rigoberto, this novel is, as the dust jacket proclaims, the author's "most generous and ambitious novel in years." Presented as the writings of the eponymous protagonist, The Notebooks tell the story of Don Rigoberto, his estranged second wife Lucretia, and his son Alfonso (known as Foncho) from his first marriage. Specifically, the text chronicles the characters' various sexual interests and encounters, both real and imaginary, while circumventing the tryst that shapes the novel - the illicit relationship between Lucretia and Foncho that Vargas Llosa never fully discloses. Indeed, as Walter Kendrick writes in his New York Times review, "Vargas Llosa's most wicked stroke... is to regale the reader with luscious evocations of just about every other sex act while leaving the crucial one to the reader's imagination, which can't hope to match Vargas Llosa's, Rigoberto's or indeed Foncho's."
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