Mario Vargas Llosa condenses a lifetime of writing, reading, and thought into an essential manual for aspiring writers. Drawing on the stories and novels of writers from around the globe—Borges, Bierce, Céline, Cortázar, Faulkner, Kafka, Robbe-Grillet—he lays bare the inner workings of fiction, all the while urging young novelists not to lose touch with the elemental urge to create. Conversational, eloquent, and effortlessly erudite, this little book is destined to be read and re-read by young writers, old writers, would-be writers, and all those with a stake in the world of letters.
[Llosa's] ambition worthy of . . . masters . . . with a technical skill that brings him closer to the heirs of Flaubert and Henry James.