With meticulous observation and the seductive skill of a great storyteller, Vargas Llosa lures the reader into the shadow of perversion that, little by little, darkens the extraordinary happiness and harmony of his characters. The mysterious nature of happiness and above all, the corrupting power of innocence are the themes that underlie these pages, and the author has perfectly met the demands of the erotic novel, never dimming for an instant the fine poetic polish of his writing.
“Powerful, incendiary...Vargas Llosa is a master storyteller.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Vargas Llosa is a writer of promethean authority, making outstanding fiction in whatever direction he turns.... Erotically stimulating, artfully self-assured, In Praise of the Stepmother is a steamy as it is intelligent.” —Newsday
“Startling...Not only would an American presidential candidate not have written it but the National Endowment for the Arts wouldn’t have given it a grant.” —The New Yorker
“The author is silky....Vargas Llosa has written a genuinely erotic story and a wicked parody of one.” —Los Angeles Times
“An elaborate and lushly written novel.” —USA Today
“Vargas Llosa has tickled all our notions of love and lust, felicity and perversity, teased all our ideas of innocence and self-consciousness, and nibbled playful and ambiguous at every romantic fancy, from the classical to the abstract, the ancient to the postmodern, the sacred to the profane.” —San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner