Jorge Luis Borges Las Ultimas Noticias. Entrevista : "Hay que dar la pelea y caer como un valiente" , por Pedro Donoso, Madrid , en Artes y Letras, 20 de julio Relato : "Jim" , de "El gaucho insufrible"
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If this rating were a rap song it would be telling you to Pop Champagne and fill your cup with Patron. Then the Auto-Tune would begin. But since it is a review on an internet book site, it is coming at you in five little orange stars, which, according to Good Reads mean "It was amazing.
Yes, the former is more ambitious but at what cost? At what cost? First of all, the main narrative thread is amazing. An assistant to the mayor of a Spanish town becomes obsessed with an ice skater who has been kicked off the national team so he uses government money to build her a rink in the ruins of a broken down palace.
Then toss in three competing narrators, all with their own angles on the story, and all equally fascinating. Add a murder mystery with a genuinely surprising set of twists and turns. Sure there are the usual diversions about sex, pop culture, and poetry.
But they are relevant to the story mostly and do a lot of work to keep some thematic cohesion going. I think the firmer set of boundaries that comes with this semi-foray into detective fiction makes him a better storyteller. The short chapters keep him honest, making Bolano choose his moments of meditation carefully in a fast-paced what-happens-next kind of book.
It is simply my favorite. But especially for newcomers to his stuff, this would be an ideal starting point. Then you can move on to hundreds of pages of clinically described murders in the Mexican desert. Pop Champagne!
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