This is the first collection by the universally acclaimed Chilean author to be published in English and it is an outstanding introduction to Bolano's writing.
Bolano's narrators are grappling with their own private quests while living in the margins, on the edges, in constant flight from nightmarish threats.
His stories are often witty, frequently melancholy and always original.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 288 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 01/05/2004
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099469421
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by DRFP
A decent collection of short stories. It feels as if Bolano's personal ticks are a little <i>too</i> in evidence here (the themes of exile, discourses on literature, etc) and at times I thought this almost a little self-indulgent (in the same way that Murakami's pop culture referencing or excessive detail regarding food feels a little invasive).Bolano is an excellent writer - <i>2666</i> was a surprisingly readable 900 pages - and nothing has changed here. When he sets about writing a story that stands alone and is free of his self-insert ruminations then the results are good. <i>Sensini, Phone Calls</i> and the title story demonstrate this and are the best of the bunch. Only one short is actively bad - I found nearly nothing redeemable in <i>Ann Moore's Life</i>. The rest of the collection is neither here nor there, well written but ultimately hollow.Bolano was certainly a great author but, on this evidence, the short story wasn't his forte. Best to stick with his full length novels and novellas.
Review by soylentgreen23
I wondered as I read this collection of short stories if these really were stories at all. Most have no discernable plot or story arc. However, everything that Bolano writes is sometimes touched with magic. Every word is right - credit due to the translator - and every sentence perfectly weighted. His stories, his memories, his anecdotes - whatever you want to call them - are haunting and memorable.
Review by Voise15
There is an unmistakable sense of joy in Bolano's writing - and that optimistic faith in literature and the craft of literature shines through these short stories which, once again, concern themselves with exile and alienation.This collection is earthy and gawdy - I particularly liked Sensini and Dentist - some of the other stories were less memorable.