Why did I love this book?
Although I disagree with most of Mario Vargas-Llosa’s views about our world, this work of historical fiction is a masterpiece. It recounts the end of Rafael Trujillo’s brutal dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, from 1930 to 1961, when he was assassinated, and its devastating aftermath. The book unflinchingly shows how cynicism and cowardice corrupt an entire society, and the choices ordinary people face when the only ways to resist an evil regime are either rebellion or escape. It is a gruesome book and I do not recommend it for younger readers. But we can learn a lot from it about the very nature of power and about leadership in dark times.