rating: 2 of 5 stars
I could not get into this, Bolaño's only collection of poems in English, at all. I saved it for last after spending the last couple of months reading literally thousands of pages of Bolaño's mesmerizing tributes to the power of poetry and exaltation of suffering poets, only to find the poetry falling pretty flat. There are moments when he gets his engine running, like the numerous "Detective" poems where he offers every conceivable facet of a subject, but they fall short of the impact of any of his novels. Again, maybe it's the translation, or maybe Bolaño is just much better at talking about a thing than doing it, and in that, I can imagine the powerhouse of a critic he might have become (or was and I don't know about it) had he lived a little longer.
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