The Cubs and Other Stories
Mario Vargas Llosa
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The Cubs and Other Stories is Mario Vargas Llosa's only volume of short fiction available in English. Vargas Llosa's domain is the Peru of male youth and machismo, where life's dramas play themselves out on the soccer field, the dance floor, and on street corners.
The title story, "The Cubs," tells the story of the carefree boyhood of P.P. Cuellar and his friends, and of P.P.'s bizarre accident and tragic coming of age. Innovative in style and technique, it is a work of both physical and psychic loss.
In a candid and perceptive forward to this collection of early writing, Vargas llosa provides background to the volume and a unique glimpse into the mind of the Nobel Prize-winning artist.
took your sweet time, Manny, or I was spying on you through the keyhole, Choto, you’ve got hair on your ass, Lalo. And one of those Saturdays, when they came back into the main room, Cuéllar wasn’t there and Nanette all of a sudden he got up, paid for his beer and left, without even saying good-bye. We went over to Grau Avenue and found him there, slumped over the steering wheel of his Nash, trembling, buddy, what got into you, and Lalo: he was crying. Did you feel bad, old guy? they asked him,
raised his voice. I saw him fight not to shout. Why don’t you explode once and for all, I thought. Coward! He had stood up. A gray smudge floated around his hands, which rested on his glass-topped desk. Suddenly his voice rose, grew harsh. “Get out! Whoever mentions exams again will be duly punished.” Before Javier or I could make a signal to him, the real Lou showed himself: the nighttime raider of filthy huts in Tablada, the fighter of the Wolves in the dunes. “Sir…” I didn’t turn to look
the corners of Lima and Arequipa streets. When we got to the entrance to the alley, they were talking in a huddle and laughing. All of them were carrying sticks and stones. “Not that way,” I said. “If you hit them, the brats are going to want to get in anyhow.” Lou laughed. “You’ll see. Nobody gets in through this door.” He too had a club, which he had hidden behind his body until then. He showed us, waving it. “And over there?” he asked. “Nothing yet.” Behind us someone shouted our names.
felt myself getting nervous. I broke the silence. “Junior high at the back,” I indicated. “At the end, lining up…” Next to me somebody threw an ice cream cone to the ground and it splattered my shoes. Joining our arms, we formed a human cordon. We were advancing laboriously. No one was holding back, but the march was very slow. A head was nearly buried in my chest. He turned around: what was his name? His small eyes were friendly. “Your father’ll kill you,” he said. Oh, I thought. My
holding on.” Many Indians had come out of the stable and in amazement were watching the younger brother, who held himself unbelievably steady on the horse and at the same time ferociously kicked its flanks and pounded its head with one of his fists. Enraged by the blows, the roan went from one side to the other, rearing, jumping; it started dizzying, abrupt runs and suddenly stopped dead, but the rider seemed soldered to its back. Leonor and David saw him appear and disappear as steady as the