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Amulet

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3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  3,960 Ratings  ·  383 Reviews
Amulet is a monologue, like Bolano's acclaimed debut in English, By Night in Chile. The speaker is Auxilio Lacouture, a Uruguayan woman who moved to Mexico in the 1960s, becoming the "Mother of Mexican Poetry," hanging out with the young poets in the cafes and bars of the University. She's tall, thin,brand blonde, and her favorite young poet in the 1970s is none other than ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published January 29th 2007 by New Directions (first published 1999)
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s.penkevich
Aug 16, 2013 s.penkevich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bathroom wall graffitiers
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Ian "Marvin" Graye
History is like a horror story.

The student youth of Mexico raised their fists in protest during the summer and fall of 1968, marching against the government towards the violent climax of the Tlatelolco Massacre on October 2nd. Student demonstrations were organized in response to the killings of several students by the police called in to repress a fight between gang members of two rival schools—the Mexican National Autonomous University (UNAM) and National Politechnical Institute (IPN)—and were
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Ian "Marvin" Graye
When Only a Wedge Will Do

I read this because I’m a lazy cheapskate.

I bought it for $5 (reduced from $50) in a recent Borders sale.

But I was looking for a relatively short wedgie between larger undertakings, the next of which will be Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84”.

At 184 pages, it’s more of a novella than a novel (although I’ve never really understood or cared much for the distinction).

What’s important for me is how much the author put into those pages and how much we the readers get out of them.

As I w
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Lynne King
“I am in the women’s bathroom in the faculty building and I can see the future, I said, in a soprano voice, as if I were being coy.

I know that said the dreamy voice, I know that. You start making your prophecies and I’ll note them down.”

I found this book very difficult to come to terms with at times which is based around the year 1968 in Mexico City, be it the future, the past or the present which are all thrown in for good measure to confuse a poor literary individual such as myself.

The narrato
...more
Γκέλλυ
Jan 22, 2017 Γκέλλυ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
Από τα βιβλία που δεν θα πρότεινα σε κανέναν. Γιατί όμως. Όλα τα βιβλία και οι συγγραφείς απαιτούν έναν σεβασμό (τουλάχιστον καλό είναι να ξεκινάς με τις καλύτερες προθέσεις). Με ορισμένα / ορισμένους πρέπει να είσαι λίγο πιο έμπειρος αναγνωστικά, να ξέρεις τα γούστα σου και να είσαι έτοιμος για πειραματισμούς.

Ως φαν του Μπορχες και των λαβύρινθων του, της μη-γραμμικής, παραληρηματικής, συνειρμικής γραφής, το απόλαυσα. Συνεχώς μπερδεύονται τα όρια μεταξύ πεζού και ποίησης. Το βρήκα σπαρακτικό.
...more
Greg
Apr 03, 2010 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I want to give this book five stars, but since I didn't give Savage Detectives or 2666 five stars I feel it's only fitting to give this four stars.

A lot of people gush about Bolano, so much that it's enough to turn off other people from him. That said, there are quite a few people who really dislike Bolano mostly because hipster's and others were all over him (but were they really? It seems to me like Bolano-mania is over and now it's safe to come out and read his work in peace, but I could be
...more
Nora Barnacle
Oct 01, 2016 Nora Barnacle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nedavno sam gledala neku emisiju u kojoj se autor, eksperimenta radi, pod kontrolisanim uslovima i pred kamerama, podvrgao nekom ritualu Inka (recimo) koji za cilj ima konekciju sa Suštinom Bića Univerzuma (kao takvog!). Naravno, sve se vrtelo oko neke retke travke, ubrane na samom vrhu besputno udaljene litice, pa se to onda sušilo u, recimo, gornjem levom uglu potkrovlja sojenice u kojoj žive tri žute mačke i četri žene sa po šest nožnih prstiju (sve četri device, razume se), pa se to stucalo ...more
Tijana
"Amajlija" je dovoljno kratka da se pročita u cugu i dovoljno hipnotička da tako i treba da se pročita. I mnogo znači - hoću reći, meni znači - što Bolanjo piše tako kako piše, od prve rečenice navali na čitaoca kao teška konjica u Aleksandru Nevskom i zahteva njegovu celokupnu pažnju.
Strukturno je roman pomalo nezgodan (bar za one koji vole klasičan zaplet) jer se ne vidi odmah da je koncipiran kao niz ulančanih i ne sasvim čvrsto povezanih celina koje spaja samo pripovedačica (ali s druge stra
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Barry Pierce
When I read the blurb of this novel I laughed. "This is so Bolaño," I thought.

A woman recounts her colourful life in Mexico but... she's telling us all this whilst hiding from members of a right-wing army who have just invaded the university in which she works. Is that Bolaño enough for you?

This might be one of my favourite Bolaño novels. The prose is near lucid but doesn't fall into any of the traps that Monsieur Pain did and is just short enough to keep your attention through any of the more
...more
Edward
Oct 04, 2016 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
This is going to be a horror story. A story of murder, detection and horror. But it won't appear to be, for the simple reason that I am the teller. Told by me, it won't seem like that. Although, in fact, it's the story of a terrible crime.


I do not know enough about Mexican history to really grasp the "terrible crime" that is the focus of this story, or its implications on the Mexican memory (though I have read a little since finishing the book). Amulet is an attempt to come to terms with this
...more
Sawsan
Oct 29, 2015 Sawsan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
ذكريات مبعثرة وغير مرتبة زمنيا في حياة أوكسيليو لاكوتور الشخصية الرئيسية في الرواية, تتذكرها وهي مختبأة في حمام إحدى الكليات في جامعة المكسيك, بعد اقتحام القوات الحكومية للجامعة في سبتمبر 1968 لفض المظاهرات واعتقال الطلاب والأساتذة
تحكي عن أصدقائها والأماكن اللي مرت بها, عن الشعراء في المكسيك, والسياسة في أمريكا اللاتينية
صديقها الشاعر الشاب ارتوريتو بيلانو الذي تتشابه أحداث حياته مع بولانيو الكاتب
السرد فيه شيء من الهذيان ما بين الذكريات والأحلام, ورغم بعض الملل لكنه سرد مختلف, جميل وساخر
يكتب
...more
Fabian
Mar 15, 2011 Fabian rated it really liked it
"This story breaks away from its box..."

Roberto Bolaño destroys a reader’s preexisting expectations, as what the reader sees is rarely what he gets. I’ve only previously read Los Detectives Salvajes before, and was immediately happy to see that this was an extension of that novel, or, more accurately, it works as a companion piece. I love this kind of stuff! Complimentary works are... extremely difficult to pull off, as one bad novel might pollute the other one. (Take for instance the Hannibal
...more
Tanuj Solanki
Dec 07, 2012 Tanuj Solanki rated it it was amazing
The Desire of the Hysteric

"And although the song that I heard was about war, about the heroic deeds of a whole generation of young Latin Americans led to sacrifice, I knew that above and beyond all, it was about courage and mirrors, desire and pleasure."

These are lines from the last page of Bolano's novel, containing in them one of the many keys for reading this masterpiece, a masterpiece that hovers between confusion, terror, and poetry.

Eli Evans in Bookslut rightly argues that Latin America or
...more
mai ahmd
Dec 21, 2013 mai ahmd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: سرديات



رواية بولاينو أشبه بأغنية رقيقة لرفاق دربه تروى على لسان سيدة أطلق عليها الرفاق أم الشعر المكسيكية التي تروى قصة معرفتها بالشعراء وتسكعها معهم وخدمتها لهم خلال ذروة حركة احتجاج الشباب و الذي كانت فيه الحكومة المكسيكية تستخدم العنف في الجامعات وتلجأ إلى القتل والضرب
في الوقت الذي تعلق فيه راوية النص في أحد الحمامات وتروي بأسلوب ملىء بالقلق والحيرة بروح مضطربة وخائفة على الشعر والشعراء ..

ما يهم في هذا الكتاب أكثر منه رواية أو قصة تحكى أنك تشعر أن روح جيفارا
تحلق في النص وإنه جزء من حياة الشاعر ا
...more
Solistas
Aug 05, 2015 Solistas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Η Αουξιλιο Λακουτυρ, η "μητέρα της ποίησης" του Μεξικου, βρίσκεται κλεισμένη για 12 μέρες στις γυναικείες τουαλέτες του Αυτόνομου Πανεπιστημίου της πόλης, κατα τη διάρκεια δηλαδή της εισβολής της αστυνομίας τον Σεπτέμβρη του 1968. Απο κει διηγείται ιστορίες που συνέβησαν, συμβαίνουν ή θα συμβούν στο μέλλον ακολουθώντας τη Σελήνη που φωτίζει τα λευκά πλακάκια της τουαλέτας. Οι πολλές ιστορίες έχουν μοναδικό κοινό στοιχείο την αφηγήτρια, η οποία μεθυσμένη, συνήθως, πηγαίνει απο παρέα σε παρέα, απο ...more
Deniz Balcı
Okuyucu olarak çok hassas bir dönemimdeyim. İçi boş, basit ve ya tam tersi çok ağdalı şeylerden sıkılıveriyorum. Edebi üsluptan çok anlatılan şeyin niteliği önemli bu aralar. O yüzden laf kalabalığı yapan yazarların eserleri elimde büyüyor, bitmiyor.

Bolano bu konuda tam olarak otorite. Bir konu bu kadar güzel, sade, özel anlatılabilir. Bir sayfayı iki kere okuduğum oldu çünkü olayı anlatma, metaforize etme şekline hayran kaldım. Kelime kelimesine okuyup, her dakikasını kavramaya çalıştığım bir
...more
roz_anthi
Aug 05, 2015 roz_anthi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μια αγωνιώδης, πηχτή ιστορία ενός σκοτεινού καιρού που φωτίζεται μονάχα απ' την αντανάκλαση της σελήνης. Αλλά και μια σπουδαία μεταφραστική στιγμή του Κρίτωνα Ηλιόπουλου. Ο συγγραφέας των συγγραφέων, ο Roberto Bolaño, εξασκείται με την γνώριμη, μεγάλη του τέχνη στις αποχρώσεις της τρέλας και της ελπίδας, της παραίσθησης και της διαύγειας.
Jim Elkins
Oct 09, 2012 Jim Elkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chilean
Talking About Novels as a Way of Writing After the Novel

This book really stays in your mind! I hadn't thought I would write a review, because Bolano is the Latin American author du jour in North America. But this novel has genuine staying power. The central image -- a woman cowering in the women's room on the fourth floor of the Philosophy and Literature building in UNAM in Mexico City during the police incursion -- is itself very memorable, but really it's her inner monologues, dreams, and hall
...more
Lee
Dec 30, 2013 Lee rated it liked it
Realized I hadn't yet read this although I've had it for years in part because the year "2666" is mentioned in this novel, not 2666. Toward the end, a few pages of twisted prophecies appear that reveal the years in which famous writers are reincarnated and/or lose their last reader in the 21st century (eg, Kafka in 2046). Many exemplary Bolano bits, including the answer to the question "how was Che Guevara in bed?" But in general it reminded me why I put down "The Savage Detectives" a few years ...more
Alexandra
Wenn ich mit einem so dünnen Büchlein gar so lange brauche, dann habe ich meistens ein Problem.

Zuerst muss ich gestehen, dass ich ein Faible für lateinamerikanische Autoren habe, seitdem ich Gabriel Garcia Marquez 1982, als er Literaturnobelpreisträger wurde, entdeckt habe. Anschließend habe ich einige Autoren aus diesem Kultukreis regelrecht verschlungen und fast alle genossen. Mir kommt vor, fast alle südamerikanischen Autoren schreiben wunderschön, der Plot und die Sprache haben meist etwas
...more
Abailart
May 27, 2011 Abailart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A wonderful long short story which captures the nature of dreams by compression, displacement of images, time slippages and identity shifts, most of all by metaphors in the broadest sense - those that clash and compound separate discourses, or confound, all disturbing historical stability. That the 'dream' expands from the tiles and watery sounds of a ladies' toilet in a university department of philosophy and literature adds via its literal banality (although the tiles are also hieroglyphs)to a ...more
George-Icaros Babassakis
I'm on page 51 of 192 of Amulet: Η γλώσσα κόκαλα δεν έχει και κόκαλα τσακίζει. Δυνατός Μπολάνιο. Διαβάζω τη μετάφραση του Κρίτωνα Ηλιόπουλου, εκδ. Άγρα.

Μετάφραση και έκδοση: δέκα στα δέκα. Το μυθιστόρημα (κάτι παραπάνω από μυθιστόρημα) αγγίζει την Ποίηση.Ένα παρατεταμένο, ένα long play, ουρλιαχτό κατά της βίας και κατά του παραλογισμού. Ταυτοχρόνως, μια ευφυέστατη, τρελά χιουμοριστική, και μαζί γενναία Υπεράσπιση της Ποίησης. Δέκα χρόνια μετά τον θάνατό του, και εξήντα από τη γέννησή του, ο Μπολ
...more
Eugene
Jul 11, 2008 Eugene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bolano's characters are some of the most beautiful. they miraculously avoid sentimentality while achieving a too-beautiful-to-speak-of romanticism -- though reducing them so is an error, that quality he gets really does tear me up...

his characters remind me of the vow of poverty monastics make. it isn't a negative vow--at least not for the nun. it is in fact a positive one, one that moves the renunciate closer to the divine. bolano's poets and losers and mothers are an equal type. and one way t
...more
Maya Panika
This book was a shining example of everything I love least about Latin American Literature. A florid, OTT, self-consciously ‘poetic’ style; the navel-gazings of ‘The Mother of Mexican Poetry’ as she sits trapped in the women’s lavatories during the 1968 Tlatelolco student massacre.

There’s everything you’d expect in a book of this kind: rose-tinted politics, the romanticised lauding of poets and poverty, a deal of obscure name-dropping (to show how intellectual the narrator is) and a fantasticall
...more
Teresa
Apr 02, 2013 Teresa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reler, n-chile, e1
Depositei tanta esperança na leitura deste livro e nem metade consegui ler...

Uma mulher. Numa casa de banho. Sentada numa sanita.
Recorda o tempo em que limpava o pó aos livros e observava jarras sem flores.
Não tem dentes. Coloca a mão na boca quando ri.
Conhece muitos nomes de poetas. E dormiu com alguns.

Muita história, cultura e política mexicana. Não percebo, nem vontade tenho de perceber.

Vantagem de ler "Amuleto":
Eliminada qualquer tentação de pensar em ler as 1126 páginas de "2666".
O que or
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Sep 16, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 2666
Still an enjoyable read. It's just that I enjoyed his thicker books more.

This is about a woman whose name is that of a man's, Auxilio Lacouture who gets trapped for 12 days inside a toilet. That was the day when the Mexican authorities began their crackdown on poets because of their illegal organization. I did not understand the whole story of how come their organization became illegal and what those poor poets have done to deserve their punishments but I think that was beside the point. The who
...more
Scoobs
Oct 14, 2007 Scoobs rated it liked it
only 3 stars, but still worth the read.
the book is auxilio's (the mother of mexican poetry) reflection on her past and her future and i guess her present, in mexico in the 60's. all while holed up in a bathroom in a school that has been invaded and closed down by the mexican army. from the opening sentence i thought the book was going in a different direction than it actually did. expected more out of the book, but was still pleased with where it lead me.

there is something about Bolano and his
...more
عبدالله ناصر

حاولت بأقصى ما لدي من طاقة أن أحب الكتاب و الكاتب الذي انتظرت طويلاً أن يترجم أحدهم رواياته إلى العربية. ربما لم تكن البداية موفقة مع هذه التعويذة خصوصاً و أنها ليست بقيمة روائع بولانيو ( 2666 ) و ( التحريون المتوحشون ). و لكن طمأنتني مقولة الكبير بورخيس التي تذهب إلى أن بعض الكتب لم تكتب لمزاجاتنا. أحب هذه الحكمة البورخيسية - على الرغم من دبلوماسيتها - لأنها تنصف القارئ و الكاتب على حدٍ سواء. أسلوب بولانيو رائع و استرساله كذلك و خلطه بين الماضي و المستقبل و الحاضر لامرأة من الأورغواي تعيش في ال
...more
ايمان
مونولوج طويل لشخصية الرواية أوكسيليو عن الشعر و الأدب في المكسيك استفدنا منه في التعرف على هذا الأدب و شذرات من سيرة الكاتب ذاته في بداياته..
لا تتوقع أحداث مرتبة و حبكة روائية و النجمتين فقط للمعلومات القيمة
Thomas
Nov 26, 2015 Thomas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Δε συνηθίζω να βαθμολογώ βιβλία που δεν έχω τελειώσει, αλλά γι' αυτό θα κάνω μια εξαίρεση.
Jessica
I am getting increasingly pissed off about Roberto Bolaño being dead.
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صالون الجمعة: تعويذة | 2-2014 43 175 Feb 07, 2014 10:15AM  
  • How I Became a Nun
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  • The Museum of Eterna's Novel (The First Good Novel)
  • Lands of Memory
  • Seven Nights
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For most of his early adulthood, Bolaño was a vagabond, living at one time or another in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain.

Bolaño moved to Europe in 1977, and finally made his way to Spain, where he married and settled on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona, working as a dishwasher, a campground custodian, bellhop and garbage collector — working during the day and writing at night.

H
...more
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