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Roberto Bolano - 2/8/2009 10:21:09 PM   
richCie


Posts: 4028
Joined: 11/11/2006
From: Wells, England
since there's no thread for who is, in my opinion, the greatest author i've ever read and i've just found out some awesome (and old) news i thought i'd start a thread for all the legions (ha!) of fans

and for any fans who are out there, apprently in March a 6th part of 2666 was found among Bolano's notes - here's hoping it gets published, though in the meantime there's some 7 further books to be published (straight from wiki): The Skating Rink (August, 2009),
Monsieur Pain (January 2010),
Antwerp (April 2010),
Assassin Whores (tentative title) (June 2010),
The Insufferable Gaucho (August 2010),
Between Parentheses (June 2011)
The Secret of Evil (November 2011)

no idea what any of them are about though

for those who have yet to read Roberto Bolano - and seriously please give it a shot, it's amazing - i'd recommend starting with The Last Evenings On Earth his short story collection though everything i've read so far is excellent (but i wouldnt try By Night In Chile it's a 120 page uninterrupted stream of consciousness and therefore probably best to read in one sitting)

to reiterate though this guy's writing is amazing, you frequently get bombarded with indecipherable lists of countless writers that you've either never heard of or dont even exist, it's rare that you finish reading anything by him without countless unanswered questions bubbling around and characters fly past at a dizzying pace and yet it's all so fascinating. there are countless moments in 2666 or Savage Detectives especially where Bolano will ignore the main characters and throw in some story abot this or that character and you just don't care that this has nothing to do with finding Ulises or getting to the root of the problems in Santa Teresa, you don't care that nothing has happened for fifty pages to propel the plot because truthfully the plot doesnt matter, it's irrelevant - it's the people and the ideas that are important and that he excels in creating or expressing so honestly.

so yeh head off down your local library or root around in bookshops or hassle friends or colleagues or whatever but read Roberto Bolano then come back here and say what you thought

EDIT: here's a pretty funny acceptance speech he wrote back in 1999 that i just found: http://dnoriega.wordpress.com/2008/06/04/bolano-translation-for-triple-canopy/

< Message edited by richCie -- 2/8/2009 10:58:30 PM >


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RE: Roberto Bolano - 2/8/2009 11:47:27 PM   
JessFranco


Posts: 2523
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: London
quote:

and for any fans who are out there, apprently in March a 6th part of 2666 was found among Bolano's notes - here's hoping it gets published, though in the meantime there's some 7 further books to be published (straight from wiki): The Skating Rink (August, 2009),
Monsieur Pain (January 2010),
Antwerp (April 2010),
Assassin Whores (tentative title) (June 2010),
The Insufferable Gaucho (August 2010),
Between Parentheses (June 2011)
The Secret of Evil (November 2011)


Excellent news!


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Post #: 2
RE: Roberto Bolano - 5/8/2009 3:38:32 PM   
GupterPuncher

 

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He must've written like a demon those last few years, huh....

Savage detectives was stunning - the first hundred and twenty pages flew by...

...then it switched to other narrators and I was pissed off for the next hundred pages, but then I got used to it and, man, it was amazing how he made each character different in some way....my favourite was either the italian snob or the french guy who was the last one to see Belano in Africa...

...and all the way through I was scanning for references to the kid narrating at the start...i think that was the master-stroke, to have the kid bookending it, so you've always got a reason to keep going back to it [in a basic 'i have to know what happened to him, soap-opera kind of way]...

Just think, through most of his life, he had no idea the kind of success he would eventually have...it seemed like none of the 'visceral realists' were supposed to have any kind of success, but he did....I think because he had actually lived a life worth writing about, and he knew how to write it, ie. not just a typical auto-bio or memoir...

and you know, Bolano lives on....his son writes for my magazine.

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RE: Roberto Bolano - 6/8/2009 12:51:08 AM   
BlueBalls


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From: Movie hell...
I've never read any Bolano. But the Savage Detectives is probably the next book I'm going to buy and I have high hopes for it.

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RE: Roberto Bolano - 6/8/2009 8:44:02 PM   
richCie


Posts: 4028
Joined: 11/11/2006
From: Wells, England

quote:

ORIGINAL: GupterPuncher

He must've written like a demon those last few years, huh....

Savage detectives was stunning - the first hundred and twenty pages flew by...

...then it switched to other narrators and I was pissed off for the next hundred pages, but then I got used to it and, man, it was amazing how he made each character different in some way....my favourite was either the italian snob or the french guy who was the last one to see Belano in Africa...

...and all the way through I was scanning for references to the kid narrating at the start...i think that was the master-stroke, to have the kid bookending it, so you've always got a reason to keep going back to it [in a basic 'i have to know what happened to him, soap-opera kind of way]...

Just think, through most of his life, he had no idea the kind of success he would eventually have...it seemed like none of the 'visceral realists' were supposed to have any kind of success, but he did....I think because he had actually lived a life worth writing about, and he knew how to write it, ie. not just a typical auto-bio or memoir...

and you know, Bolano lives on....his son writes for my magazine.


i think its more a case of now he's popular theyre releasing all his earlier work, though he did only start writing novels fairly late on, he was a poet first and foremost but changed to writing novels as a means of getting money for his family.

The Romantic Dogs is the only released collection of his poetry though i havent tracked that down yet.

unfortunately both of those characters you mention from Savage Detectives i can't actually remember, there really is too many, but you're right his characterisations are always perfect. i really need to read Savage Dectitives actually, though i'll be reading Nazi Literature in the Americas first as ive only just got that.

you serious about his son? thats amazing, got any articles you could post?

and blueballs i really hope you do like it :)

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RE: Roberto Bolano - 28/9/2009 9:33:30 PM   
Mogwai


Posts: 671
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Northern Ireland
He is brilliant, and at first, I didn't believe the hype but I read The Savage Detectives and haven't looked back. His writing style is so deceptively simple, his characterisation is superb; he is worth all the hype.   I've read The Savage Detectives; which veered from incredible to dull, and even though it had a lot of characters each one felt different. 2666, which is a shockingly great book, when I had finished I just wanted to stare into space contemplating what I had just read. Last Evenings on Earth, a collection of short stories that varies in quality but totally worth a read. It also has a connection to The Savage Detectives. By Night in Chile, I read this waiting in the airport, and the emotions it stirs up in you, it's a dense, hallucinatory tale.   and I'm currently reading Amulet.

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Post #: 6
RE: Roberto Bolano - 10/10/2009 7:34:58 AM   
ilovebeerme


Posts: 4531
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Magic Beans
I'm about 250 pages into Savage Detectives and I have to say I'm not really blown away. Sorry. The writing is fantastic and the whimsy is great for a while.....but for 400 pages? I love South American literature and I've read a fair bit (mainly Marquez and Vargas Llosa) which I've loved, but I'm starting to feel that this is just a tad indulgent and to be honest I'm getting pretty bored. I enjoy reading it for an hour but every time I go to pick it up is a chore because it feels a bit like treading water. Should I keep reading?

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RE: Roberto Bolano - 10/10/2009 9:44:39 PM   
richCie


Posts: 4028
Joined: 11/11/2006
From: Wells, England

quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovebeerme

I'm about 250 pages into Savage Detectives and I have to say I'm not really blown away. Sorry. The writing is fantastic and the whimsy is great for a while.....but for 400 pages? I love South American literature and I've read a fair bit (mainly Marquez and Vargas Llosa) which I've loved, but I'm starting to feel that this is just a tad indulgent and to be honest I'm getting pretty bored. I enjoy reading it for an hour but every time I go to pick it up is a chore because it feels a bit like treading water. Should I keep reading?


well i never ever got bored with a single moment of it...so i'd say yeh...i mean the plot hardly progresses for most of the middle section of the book - though there is a definate mystery running through it - but what i find far more interesting about Bolano's writings is all the little side stories and characters you meet- their experiences, their ideas beliefs etc

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Post #: 8
RE: Roberto Bolano - 11/10/2009 2:32:00 AM   
ilovebeerme


Posts: 4531
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Magic Beans
Fair enough. As I said I love SA literature but I just can't be arsed with another 300 pages of 'ah, they were crazy boys. We met in a cafe and drank beer and discussed poetry and then Bolano tried to pick up my friends girlfriend and then we went home'. Yawn. It's beautifully written and maybe I'm just not in the mood at the moment, but I've got Gormenghast sitting on the shelf and I'll be starting that instead I think. To be honest I get the impression I could put it down for a year or two, pick it up again and start reading at roughly the right place and be just as engaged as I am right now.

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RE: Roberto Bolano - 13/10/2009 11:23:10 PM   
richCie


Posts: 4028
Joined: 11/11/2006
From: Wells, England

quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovebeerme

Fair enough. As I said I love SA literature but I just can't be arsed with another 300 pages of 'ah, they were crazy boys. We met in a cafe and drank beer and discussed poetry and then Bolano tried to pick up my friends girlfriend and then we went home'. Yawn. It's beautifully written and maybe I'm just not in the mood at the moment, but I've got Gormenghast sitting on the shelf and I'll be starting that instead I think. To be honest I get the impression I could put it down for a year or two, pick it up again and start reading at roughly the right place and be just as engaged as I am right now.


i kind of see what you mean :D
but i loved all the characters and all their little tales they had to tell - i guess it just works for some people. might be worth u at elast reading the last part since that goes back to the first narrator.

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RE: Roberto Bolano - 14/10/2009 2:45:12 AM   
ilovebeerme


Posts: 4531
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Magic Beans
I'll no doubt finish it at some point. One benefit of the structure is that you can most likely leave it alone for extended periods and go back to it.

Just don't think I was in the mood for it to be honest. Certainly doesn't mean I've written him off though

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RE: Roberto Bolano - 14/10/2009 4:14:05 AM   
richCie


Posts: 4028
Joined: 11/11/2006
From: Wells, England

quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovebeerme

I'll no doubt finish it at some point. One benefit of the structure is that you can most likely leave it alone for extended periods and go back to it.

Just don't think I was in the mood for it to be honest. Certainly doesn't mean I've written him off though


try his short stories collection Last Evenings On Earth maybe>?

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RE: Roberto Bolano - 14/10/2009 8:27:03 AM   
ilovebeerme


Posts: 4531
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Magic Beans
I think most of his novels, with the exception of 2666, are much shorter and less.....rambling. It's not the length that puts me off; I regularly plough through 1200 page sci-fi epics. I just couldn't face another 300 pages with not a lot happening. I might take it on holiday when I have nothing to do for a few days and finish it then. It's a book to be read with a glass of wine and a bowl of olives, not when standing on the bus on the way to work

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RE: Roberto Bolano - 14/10/2009 12:52:25 PM   
richCie


Posts: 4028
Joined: 11/11/2006
From: Wells, England

quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovebeerme

I think most of his novels, with the exception of 2666, are much shorter and less.....rambling. It's not the length that puts me off; I regularly plough through 1200 page sci-fi epics. I just couldn't face another 300 pages with not a lot happening. I might take it on holiday when I have nothing to do for a few days and finish it then. It's a book to be read with a glass of wine and a bowl of olives, not when standing on the bus on the way to work


yeh most can hardly be called novels - Distant Star is really good - but i do prefer his longer works.

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