Captain Pantoja and the Special Service A Novel

Mario Vargas LLosa

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

260 Pages


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This delightful farce opens as the prim and proper Captain Pantoja learns that he has been selected by the army for a secret mission on Peru’s Amazon frontier. His pride turns to dismay, however, when he discovers that his orders are most unusual: to create a "special service" of females to quench the amorous longings of the recruits in the military's isolated border garrisons.   on a secret mission for the army—to provide females for the amorous recruits.

Pantoja, ever the model soldier, applies the best ot his army training to the situation, and soon he has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations, whipping his corps into a military machine of unmatched discipline and efficiency.  But despite his constant efforts at secrecy, his mission is somehow becoming better known than he—or his superiors—would like. By turns sidesplitting and thought-provoking, Captain Pantoja and the Special Service tells of the complications that arise as word of the remarkable Captain Pantoja and his team of beautiful 'specialists" starts to spread.


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“Wake up, Panta!” Pochita is saying. “It’s eight o’clock already. Panta, Pantita.”

“Eight already? God, I’m tired,” yawns Pantita. “Did you sew on my new stripe?”

“Yes, Lieutenant, sir,” Pochita stands at attention. “Oh, excuse me, Captain, sir. Until I get used to it, honey, you’re going to continue being my little lieutenant. Yes, it looks just fine. But get up now—don’t you have an appointment?”

“Yes, at nine,”

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  • Mario Vargas LLosa

  • Mario Vargas Llosa is Peru's foremost author and the winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1994 he was awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor, and in 1995 he won the Jerusalem Prize. His many distinguished works include The Storyteller, The Feast of the Goat, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Death in the Andes, In Praise of the Stepmother, The Bad Girl, Conversation in the Cathedral, The Way to Paradise, and The War of the End of the World. He lives in London.
  • Mario Vargas Llosa Morgana Vargas Llosa