The Feast of the Goat
, 2001 - Fiction
- 404 pages
A" Library Journal" Best Book
Vargas Llosa's vivid historical portrait of a regime of fear and its aftermath
It is 1961. The Dominican Republic languishes under economic sanctions; the Catholic church spurs its clergy against the government; from its highest ranks down, the country is arrested in bone-chilling fear. In "The Feast of the Goat" Vargas Llosa unflinchingly tells the story of a regime's final days and the unsteady efforts of the men who would replace it. His narrative skates between the rituals of the hated dictator, Rafael Trujillo, in his daily routine, and the laying-in-wait of the assasins who will kill him; their initial triumph; and the shock of fear's release--and replacements. In the novel's final chapters we learn Urania Cabral's story, self-imposed exile whose father was Trujillo's cowardly Secretary of State. Drawn back to the country of her birth from 30 years after Trujillo's assasination, the widening scope of the dictator's cruelty finds expression in her story, and a rapt audience in her extended family.
In "The Feast of the Goat," Vargas Llosa weighs the burden of a corrupt and corruptive regime upon the people who live beneath it. This is a moving portrait of an unrepentant dictator and the unwilling citizens drawn into his orbit.