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Translated from the Spanish by Clementine Kügler. He has written numerous novels, written many essays and articles - Mario Vargas Llosa is one of the most successful writers of our time. In this book, he describes in an entertaining and extremely knowledgeable manner how a good novel is made and which tools the author must master. He cites great novels like "Madame Bovary", "Moby Dick", "Don Quixote" as examples. Dissecting narrator characters. In order to finally return to what makes a good novel: its power of persuasion, which can be achieved not least through the passion and dedication of the writer.
Review note on Die Zeit, August 5, 2004
This little book is "required reading for everyone professionally involved in literature, and it is a pleasure for those who take an interest in literature," says reviewer Franz Schuh. Vargas Llosa wrote it in the form of letters to a student. The author explains to him how to read and write, but the "riddle of creativity" is not revealed here either. The reviewer was particularly pleased with the retelling of various novels. Because Vargas Llosa not only reproduces the plot of Celine's "Journey to the End of the Night", but also tells of the "effects that selected books have had on him". Only Vargas Llosa's idea of what makes a good novel cannot be shared by Schuh. For the author, a novel must give the reader the feeling that they are not reading, but experiencing a story. But this, says Schuh, would limit the literature "to the role of creating illusions".
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