"The bold, dynamic and endlessly productive imagination of Vargas Llosa, one of the writing giants of our time, is something truly to be admired...In this, the master novelist's first truly international novel, the canvases light up with the glow of his passion."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Oddly affecting...an engrossing, sometimes horrifying image of social conditions in France [from] one of the great Latin American novelists."
--The New York Times Book Review
"With matchless empathy and insight, the great author analyzes two contrasting quests for the ideal...It's hard to believe, but Vargas Llosa just keeps getting better. What are the Swedes waiting for?"
"Through his characters Vargas Llosa [captures] much of the liberationist spirit of the 19th century, the great romantic desire to escape the cramping bonds of tradition, whatever the cost. His stylistic virtuosity with authorial voice commands ambition."
"Masterful....Vargas Llosa's florid but exacting style is mesmerizing, as is his choice of two characters whose drastically opposing belief systems only make their rare moments of connection more sublime."
--Time Out New York