This book should be in everyone's reading list
A Fish In The Water is a fascinating book that works on many levels,
as a memoir of an extraordinary childhood
as a portrait of families in transition (his parents', his grandparents', his own) throughout the years,
as a coming of age story
a chronicle of a grueling political campaign
a snapshot of a complex society that for many of us, even those born and raised in Latin America, remains a mystery,
a statement of the author's political beliefs, and their evolution throughout the years,
and as a saga of the writer's beginnings as he evolved to become one of the premier authors of our times.
This candid, at times unflinchingly honest, book rivals some of the outstanding memoirs of or times (such as Speak, Memory, and others) in richness, texture, and quality of detail. The dual structure brings to mind the "vasos comunicantes" of his work in fiction, overlapping the early years with the political campaign. A master of the Spanish language, and of characterization, theme, and plot, Vargas Llosa has earned an eminent place in contemporary literature. This is one of his outstanding works, a diamond among gems.
Fifty years from now, people might not remember who was president of Peru, but I'm willing to bet that in five hundred years from now Mario Vargas Llosa's work will continue to dazzle.