The Bad Girl (book review)

A book review from The Movie Snob.

The Bad Girl, by Mario Vargas Llosa (2006) (translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman). I put this book on my Amazon.com wish list after reading a favorable review a long, long while back, and it finally found its way into my grubby mitts. I had never read any Llosa before, but according to the cover he is a Nobel Prize winner. Anyhoo, I was pretty much spellbound by this novel. The first-person narrator, Ricardo Somocurcio, is a fairly ordinary teenaged boy living in Lima, Peru, in the 1950s. One summer he meets the titular character, a fascinating girl named Lily, and he falls hopelessly in love with her. She really is trouble, though, and she disappears from his life as suddenly as she appeared. Ricardo moves to Paris and becomes a modestly successful translator and interpreter. Like Halley’s Comet, the bad girl keeps coming back into his life, and Ricardito, her “good boy,” seems incapable of turning her away. The side stories about Ricardo’s family, friends, and colleagues are just as interesting as the main story about the bad girl. I really found this novel hard to put down.