The books I got the day I slipped



Now I was actually in town on Saturday to take my books back to library and fetch some more which I just fetch out of the bag today maybe last library books for a couple months from town so what did I fetch starting with the Bolano after returning By night in Chile I couldn’t resist another so choose a short story collection .There is a couple of his stories I’ve listen to in the New Yorker fiction series and I really have enjoyed them so decide to try this collection .The book of fathers by Miklos Vamos caught my eye as it was a historic novel with folk tale and parable roll into an epic sounded great and I love a new writer to me .The anarchist banker is a collection of stories for Portugal which for me is the one country in Europe where the blog is very weak for its size . Then the third Valerio Varesi novel in the Commissaro Soneri series I have the second book on my shelves and reviewed the first a few years ago and want to catch up with this series .


Also here today is White Hunger by Aki Ollikainen a tale of famine and a farmers wife that sets off for food in far north of Finland .Lucky four of these five books are quite slim so cam be held in one hand as I’m having to read and type this post on hand may just be book post not review for a week or so tile adjust to cast on arm and typing .
What books you had received or got recently ?

Woes of the True policeman by Roberto Bolano

woes of the true policeman

Woes of the true policeman by Robert Bolano

Chilean fiction

Original title Los sinsabores del verdadero policía

Translator Natasha Wimmer

Source – Library

Well as all of you that  have followed this blog for a time,will  know Bolano is one of my favourite writers and this is the fifth book I have under review here  and the ninth in all I’ve read by Bolano ,this one comes from the works he was working on when he died that were left on a hard drive .So although I loved this book like I have most of his books I do wonder if it was as he want or just fragments strung together .

According to Padilla ,remembering Amalfitano ,all literature could be classified as heterosexual , homosexual or bisexual .Novels ,in general were heterosexual .Poetry on the other hand , was completely homosexual .Within the vast ocean of poetry he identified various currents .

A controversial argument opens the novel

The “Woes of a true policeman ” has Bolano written all over it ,firstly settings First Spain then Mexico us border .Characters in this book where in earlier works ,they feel at times like Bolano intend this as a stand along read to 2666 maybe even a prelude to that book .The Characters are the Lit professor Oscar Amalfitano ,although in 266 he is described as more gay and is also a professor of philosophy not literature in that book .We also recounted the German writer Benno Von Archimboldo ,where we see his works describe as some works through the books he wrote this is the connection to the first man Oscar because he once long ago translated on of Archimboldo’s books .Add in forged paintings ,some dark situations and a  touch of humour you have the makings of what might be a third epic to sit along 2666 and Savage detectives ,because Bolano had spent the best parts of twenty years working on this book .

Works of J.M.G Archimboldi (Carcasanne 1925 )


The enigma of the cyclist of the tour de france – Gallimard ,1956.

Vertummnus – Gallimard ,1958.

Hartmann von aue – Gallimard 1959.

Sam O’Rourkes search – Gallimard,1960 .

Riquer – Gallimard,1961.

Railroad perfection – Gallimard,1964.

The librarian – Gallimard,1966.

The endless rose -Gallimard,1968.

The natives of Fontainebleau -Gallimard,1970.

Racine -Gallimard,1979.

Doctor Dotremont-Gallimard,1988

The list of novels and in the following section we find out about these imagined books .But aren’t the titles just wonderful .

That is the point what came first as you read this book ,This or 2666 one imagines Bolano spent the last twenty years of his life working this book together and at various points used it as a spring-board to other books namely 2666 ,but the section with the Bibliography of Benno Von Archimboldo also remind me of his great book on imagined Nazi writers of Latin america ,Nazi Literatures in america and father daughter relationships are something else I ve read in other books by Bolano .So although at times this books jumps and you can tell or feel it is a little unpolished or is it just  Bolano playing with the novel as a form ,in Antwerp the are huge gaps that are left for you as a reader in Nazi literatures in America there isn’t a linear narrative ,so it is hard to say what stage the book was in .I’m sure some of you are going well just look up I could but that would spoil my fun .I wonder what else is on the hard drive is this a bottomless pit like the Pessoa trunk seems to be ? With still a couple of books to read from Bolano I feel his place in Latin American fiction is yet to be decided .He took chunks of fellow writers the dedication at the front is to Manuel Puig and Philip K dick now Puig in his work  I have always seen ,but from my reading of two Dick books twenty years ago I can see him as well that uneasy sense of place (I know sci-fi don’t fall back in horror I have also read fantasy in the past ) .As we read more from the next generation the Likes of Neumann ,Pron ,Luiselli ,Enrique and et al will show his lasting legacy .

Have you read this book ?

Do you have a favourite Bolano ?

Monsieur Pain By Roberto Bolano

Source – library

Translator – Chris Andrews

Roberto Bolano the Chilean novelist ,poet and thinker ,died in 2003 ,he lived in spain and Mexico as well his homeland Chile .His older books are all currently being translated into english this was published in spain in 1999 .

Monsieur Pain of the title is Pierre Pain a mesmerist and reclusive figure ,he is trying to get to help the Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo who is suffering due to constant hiccups ,all this on a backdrop of paris in 1938 ,shadowy Spaniards stopping him seeing the patient .there is a sense that pain isn’t altogether with it himself a man lost and caught up in a bigger situation .I sense Bolano is playing with character here Pain is different to other narrators in his other books he isn’t a poet or a south American and at times this shows .other ways this has classic Bolano traits a dying poet ,the chaos of looming war ,like the child murders in 2666  is a catalyst for the drama .he also intwines the spanish civil war .

“did you speak with the Spaniards ?”

“Were they Spaniards ?”

“I believe so,” I said rather uncertainly .”Did you speak with them ?”

“A little .They were knocking at your door for a long time ,it must have been around nine .You are a heavy sleeper,Monsieur Pain”

Monsieur Pain talks about his first meeting with the Spaniards that cause him such trouble .

The book is short at only a 130 odd pages ,I like the ending where we find out what happened to the characters after the book it had echos of Nazi literature in the Americas .This was maybe my least favourite of the books of his I ve read but it still has his wonderful poetic prose style ,you get the feeling this is Bolano playing with his style trying out a different style ,this story is more straightforward narrative wise we don’t have the twist and turns of his other books .I describe this as his rubber soul book ,like the beatles it was mid period in his writing but seems like a writer wanting to break the mould a bit like the beatles in rubber soul ,the start of his true creative output .The translation is smooth but Andrews has done most of the Bolano books ,this is published by Picador in the uk and New directions in the Us .

Have you read this book ?

Do you like Bolano ?

bolano,bolano ,bolano

having just brought nazi literature in america by Roberto Bolano and having 2666 on shelf still to read ,imagine my dismay to find that three are no fewer than 3 more translation of Bolanos earlier work due out this year .This brought to mind a interview in Guernica  by H C Moya about the danger in the rising power of Bolano is having on overshadowing other latin american lit or Bolano inc .I enjoyed savage detectives and have an interest in reading these three books but feel slightly overwhelmed that they are all coming out in a 8 month period .Bolano died in 2oo3 ,but in last twelve months seems to have building up a head of steam and is on course to replace Garcia Marquez  as the most recognized latin american writer .

      First is nazi literature in america is already out a fictional account of right-wing writers in south america ,next up is monsieur pain a slim tome about a Peruvian poet on new directions .in may come Antwerp another slim tome a prose poem and crime story in one .last up in august is the return both of these also out on new directions .

Have you read B

olano  ?

Do you think this is too much at once ?

March 2023


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