Tiempos recios / Fierce Times
Novel , 2019
A great political novel on a par with The Feast of the Goat.
Guatemala, 1950s. In spite of his efforts to establish a solid, lasting democracy, President Jacobo Árbenz is falsely accused by the United States’ propaganda machine of being a communist and a Soviet link in Latin America. Behind his back, a coup d’état is being planned, involving the Eisenhower Administration, the CIA, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, Leónidas Trujillo (nicknamed The Goat), and a mediocre general, Carlos Castillo Armas, designated as the puppet who will take command of the country.
Political espionage, contract killings, betrayals, and a femme fatale known as Miss Guatemala: the Central American underworld is brimming with characters worthy of a fast-paced thriller. They are the living history of a country and a decade when Guatemala embodied the impossible dream of modernisation that marked the history of much of Latin America in the 20th century.
A gripping, revealing novel that directly addresses recent history, conceived with the resources of the best novelist.
“Not only does Vargas Llosa bring back the tradition of the dictator novel, rooted in Valle-Inclán’s esperpentic Tyrant Banderas, but he returns to what many regard as his best period as a writer, when he produced complex, broadly developed novels. This began with The Time of the Hero and ended with The War of the End of the World.” J. A. Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia (on The Feast of the Goat)