Death in the Andes
A Review by Aidan O'Brien
Mario Vargas Llosa’s Death in the Andes revolves around Corporal Lituma and his Deputy Tomas, as they attempt to guard a town from a vicious rebellion raging in the mountains, whilst trying to explain the strange disappearances among the workforce building a highway nearby. It is a book about the hidden paths through which the past becomes our reality, and about how we choose to describe that reality to others and ourselves. Llosa’s playful prose manages to convey the brutality of the guerrilla rebellion while simultaneously crafting softer moments, such as the story Tomas tells Lituma at night, about his great heartache. The book delves into Peruvian culture, taking us from the coast deep into the mountains and the suspicious, ancient culture of those that live there. An intense, funny, heart-wrenching read, it works its way into the cracks of modern society and asks us how far we think we have come, forcing us to consider how delicate our progress truly is.
- Check out this this book and other page turning books at El Taller!