An extremely interesting book, brilliantly executed and conceived. It is clear that this is a writer of the first order, though I do not know (I doubt, actually) that the voice is representative of Vargas Llosa's other works.
An historical novel, set at the end of the 19th cen., there is a certain archaism and hieratic nature in the writing which is appropriate to -- and which works, given the topic -- but which can, in the end, be fatiguing.
The book explores a realm of moral ambiguity, and in a fashion that is profound. But the issue is resolved too early, with the result that the book becomes, in my opinion, *much* too long, and (as a result of this early resolution) veers even into melodrama. While the characters are drawn with great sympathy and with nuance, I can not fully empathize with their vision.
But that said, it is still the length and tedium and melodrama of a writer, as I've said, of the first order.