“The bad Girl” is a love obsession story, between Ricardo and the woman with the thousands names, the bad girl as Ricardo calls her. They meet when Ricardo is a teenager and the hook together, even though they are not officially together. Ricardo instantly fells in love with her and this is only for a lifetime. The girl turns out to be a fraud, so she disappears as the fraud is revealed, only for the two of them to meet again, years later in Paris. Ricardo is now working as an interpreter for UNESCO and she is a revolutionary Comrade Arlette, on her way to Cuba. She refuses they ever met, but Ricardo could never forget the love of his life. Through their 40 year or so history, they meet and separate many times, yet Ricardo’s feelings never really change.
In this book, Vargas Llosa is exploring the human nature. He is going for the big love and the amount of pain a lover can tolerate, so long as the lover’s partner is reachable. It is about the amount of humiliation a man can take in, when he is madly, deeply in love with a woman, that he would actually do anything for her, even give his own life. This is a behavior not often found nowadays, yet it does raises some questions.
On the other hand, we come to read about the type of woman, that have met both huge poverty and richness and would do anything to avoid the first and gain anything she can on the second, at all costs and by all means. Would someone that never cares about other people’s feeling, ever regret for their actions?
Mario Vargas Lliosa is a Peruvian author that was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for the year 2010, “for his cartography of structures of power & his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat”.