Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

The nobel for literature will be awared to Mario Vargos Llosa. I had not read a single book of this author. Though, a friend had recommended me this author when i told him that i liked Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Thanx to him, at least i had heard of Vargas Llosa.
Googled for books authored by him and found this title interesting: Aunt Julia and the Script Writer. Thanx to the good old Eloor Library books that one wants are not hard to find.

The book has two stories that are interwoven. The main story is about Mario and his aunt Julia. The scriptwriter, Pedro Camacho’s story is interwoven in their story.  Mario works for radio station as a news editor. His aunt Julia, from Bolivia, is a divorcee and is on the look out for  prospective grooms.  She likes movies and asks Mario to join her.  He starts liking her and eventually falls in love.  He cannot marry legally because his age is <21.  The family is against their affair. The rest of the story is about how they manage to get married and also pacify family members, especially Mario’s  father.  I found their search for a Mayor who would bend the rules to get them married very interesting.

Pedro Camacho’s serials are already popular in Bolivia. He is hired by the radio station that Mario works for. His serials become popular here (Lima, Peru) too. He is asked to pen more serials. Pedro ends up spending entire days at his typewriter keying stories. This takes a toll on him. He starts losing memory. The characters in his serials get mixed up. They even die  and resurface later.  Eventually, things get so botched up that he is admitted to a mental hospital. The book closes with Pedro having lost his memory completely.  He is now working as a peon with employers who ill treat him.

In between chapters (there are 20) there are stories that at first seemed disconnected and irrelevant to the main story. But actually they are stories of the serialised plays that Pedro Camacho has written. They also reflect the gradual memory loss of  Pedro Camacho.  Most main characters in these stories are aged 50, have aquiline nose, broad for head, deep eyes.  For more information, i recommend the interview of Mario Vargos Llosa on BBC.

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