I thought it read more like a history text in some ways than a novel, lots of facts to keep track of. Also, I thought that Llosa wasn't so great into getting into the heads of women, based on the narrative voice he used for the one female protagonist. If you want to read a novel about the Dominican Republic, I think your time is much better spent with In the Time of Butterflies, a novel about the Mirabal sisters by author Julia Alvarez
International version, so it's wordier than the American version;
Translated from the spanish by Edith Grossman.
Really well done history of the Trujillo era in Dominican Republic.
This is the fourth book by Vargas Llosa that I've read, and the subject matter was of the most interest to me, but I found this the hardest to read of all his books. He jumps around in time with no warning so the characters and situations can easily become confused. That said, I think the story and history are worth the eventual payoff and it's worth sticking with it. As I became accustomed to the writing style as I went along I found the book easier to read and understand. While it's not a straight nonfiction history of the Trujillo era, reading a well-researched novelization like this in some ways gives you a more intimate idea of the time and people.