rating: 3 of 5 stars
Like many other I suspect, I am freshly enamored with Roberto Bolaño, but this is the first book of his I've picked up that I didn't finish immediately. Not that it isn't a good book, but halfway through the series of short fictional biographies of South American right wing writers, I kept thinking OK I get it... so I put it down. I think Bolaño is very much about the spiral down through hell, but this was a little like reading only the explanatory notes of the Inferno, forsaking the verses.
The writing is as sharp (through translation anyway) as his other books, but I felt the story via others' stories was better done in Amulet and By Night in Chile, where you had the (sometimes very thin) connective tissue of a narrator holding it all together. I will say this book was funnier than the others, but it didn't suck me in.
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