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The Skating Rink
Roberto Bolaño
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The Skating Rink

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  2,420 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
A revelation in character development and contrastive identity simulations and interior-exterior changes along the way: Bolano is a master at the contrariness of form and function of the literary object. His is a metier of conscious, self-conscious alterities of multiplied recognitions that are, as Richard Elder says, "an illness [as] a condition of numbing, if not quite s ...more
Hardcover, 181 pages
Published 1993 by New Directions
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Apr 03, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: south-american
I think I’m rather on the fence about this one; Bolano’s first novel. It is a mix of genres; a touch of murder mystery, which is entirely secondary to the plot. Throw in obsession, political corruption, immigration, poets, a seaside resort on the Costa Brava, a homeless opera singer, an Olympic skater, a ruined mansion, the influence of Borges, a secret skating rink, a love triangle and lots of individual oddities.
The novel is set in a Costa Brava town over a summer season and the narrative is t
Nov 28, 2016 ΠανωςΚ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ολα τα μπολανικά στοιχεία που βρίσκει κανείς στο (μέτριο, υπερφιλόδοξο και... αντιπαθητικό, κατ' εμέ) 2666 υπάρχουν ήδη εδώ.
Πέρα από όρους κριτικής, ακόμη και αν στην πραγματικότητα δεν έχουν καμία σχέση, αυτή τη στιγμή, που μόλις το τέλειωσα, νιώθω περίπου όπως όταν έβλεπα μικρός τη σειρά «Το κάμπινγκ» στην ΕΡΤ.
Θυμάσαι τον Μάιμο, τον χαρακτήρα που ενσάρκωνε ο Καλογερόπουλος;
Αγαπώ τον Μπολάνιο γιατί αγαπά τους τρελούς του, τους περιθωριακούς, τους απελπισμένους, τους κατεστραμμένους,
Jul 24, 2011 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That's Right. It's five star time! 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."

I have to admit I feel a little bad giving this short near-perfect work the five star treatment when I did not grace Bolano's masterwork 2666 with such a full constellation of p
Sep 27, 2009 Geoff rated it really liked it
One of the New Directions series that came out this year, The Skating Rink is a brief, intense, and very memorable novel from Bolano. It could have been one of the many branching stories that populate 2666, it even shares some themes, and even scenes, with that monster of a book. It is a story of murder, obsession, small-time political corruption, the immigrant experience in Spain, and (because it is Bolano), madness, sex, violence, ghosts, poets who are detectives, society's dropouts, nightmare ...more
Sep 03, 2011 Jycel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Tenía ganas de leer a Bolaño desde hace tiempo. Lo lógico hubiera sido empezar por su novela más famosa “Los Detectives Salvajes”, pero quería acercarme a él desde algo más modesto, para así conocerlo un poco cuando llegara a Los Detectives (que estoy segura, ahora mucho más, de que me gustará).

Pista de hielo no es pretenciosa, no tiene aires de grandeza, y puede que por eso me haya gustado tanto. Intentaré hacer la reseña sin hacer spoilers (como siempre), pero la voy a hacer de manera bastante
Oct 26, 2012 Drew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd been debating whether or not to try any of Bolaño's shorter stuff (i.e. anything not Savage Detectives or 2666), and I'm glad I did. The murder mystery aspect is pretty underwhelming, but as far as I'm concerned Bolaño's real gift was always describing multiple characters from ensemble points of view, if that makes sense. Like in The Savage Detectives, he spent 300 pages or so having approximately eight characters describe their interactions with Ulises Lima and Arturo Belano.

In The Skating
Dec 21, 2012 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-re-read
Read this in way too many sittings, sort of failed it I think, since it's dense and narrated by three not-so-distinct voices, like a polyphonic warmup for the Savage Detectives (someone on here said something similar). The rink itself, constructed inside a ruined palace, is a beautiful image of obsession. The blades of a skate are a lethal weapon, you know. The voice of Enriq, the fat civil servant lover of the skater, I loved, but not so much the other two. Read it distractedly thanks to wailin ...more
George-Icaros Babassakis
Τρομερός Bolaño, όπως πάντα. Τρεις φωνές, τρεις περσόνες, τρεις πολλαπλές ιστορίες.
Apr 07, 2017 Evita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Πολυ καλο!!!@
Aug 16, 2016 Stavrula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books, 2016
Matthew Balliro
Aug 10, 2009 Matthew Balliro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
About halfway through The Skating Rink, I was already quite sure that this was my favorite out of all Bolano's short novels (the others being Distant Star, By Night in Chile, and Amulet; I didn't count Nazi Literature in the Americas because I wouldn't classify it as a novel, really, but I still enjoyed TSR more). I spent the rest of the text trying to figure out just why this was (and, of course, just enjoying it).

I think the reason I liked this book so much is that it reminded me, more than an
Dec 09, 2011 Emmett rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love Bolano--2666 is my favourite novel of the last decade--but I struggled to finish this short book. There are a few nice things about the book: the skating rink itself is a wonderful idea, and the character of Caridad is nice, and there's a great description of an imaginary avant-garde novel in the book. Many of Bolano's preoccupations reappear in this book: the caravan park from Antwerp, the interest in seaside vacation towns (The Third Reich, "Last Evenings on Earth"), and a flirtation wi ...more
May 25, 2009 jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, fiction
this being the first novel that bolaño wrote, it would be too easy to disregard it as an amateurish effort. while it certainly is not the most accomplished work in his acclaimed oeuvre, it is, nonetheless, an important minor contribution. the skating rink presages many of the stylistic and thematic elements that bolaño would later employ in almost all of his other works. poets, crime, violence, bureaucracy, youth, love, sex, jealousy; the components that made his later works so successful are al ...more
An amazing first novel, published when Bolaño was 40 years old. He had been a poet and writer for most of his adult life, and so the quality of this book is higher than you would expect from a first novel.

The story is told by three different male narrators - two immigrants, one established, one fresh off the boat, and one Spanish citizen/bureaucrat/schlub - about the events of a summer season in a Costa Brava tourist town. Secrets, mysteries, crimes petty and grand, topped-off by unexpected bloo
Κρίμα που ο συγγραφέας έφυγε νωρίς. Ένα εξαιρετικό ταλέντο, σίγουρα είχε να δώσει πολλα παραπάνω όχι μόνο στην ισπανόφωνη αλλά στο σύνολο της λογοτεχνίας.

Το παγοδρόμιο τωρα, δε μπορώ να πω πως ήταν αυτό που περίμενα. Η ιστορία διαδραματίζεται στην πόλη Ζ της Καταλονίας και έχει κεντρικούς ήρωες μια ομάδα ανθρώπων λίγο περιθωριακών, λίγο μποέμ, λίγο γενικώς περίεργων. Οι άνθρωποι αυτοί θα ζήσουν μια περιπέτεια μέσα σε ένα εγκαταλελειμένο κτίριο με το όνομα "παλάτι μπενβιγκουτ" στο οποίο θα συμβο
MJ Nicholls
So once again I find myself pulled into the world of novellas and short fictions, knowing I can finish these books in a day or two, feeding my book addiction with quicker and thicker thrills, piling up the novels until somehow the outside world subsumes itself into the fictional realm, leaving me free to write my own lurid and oblivious end.

I wanted Monsieur Pain, but some lightning snarfler got in there first, leaving me with this charming whodunit narrated by three quite samey-sounding men. No
Algo que debo darle el mérito a Bolaño es su habilidad para sentirte parte de la historia. Una historia sencilla, un asesinato qué pasa en las últimas 20 páginas del libro, al final sí se comieron la maldita naranja.
Κατερίνα Μαλακατέ
Ο Ρομπέρτο Μπολάνιο πέθανε στα 50 του, πολύ νέος, το 2003. Ως τότε την Ελλάδα, και πιθανότατα στον κόσμο, δεν τον είχαν «ανακαλύψει». Άφησε όμως πίσω του κληρονομιά δυο ανυπέρβλητα βιβλία που δεν υπάρχει η δυνατότητα να τα αγνοήσεις: το αριστουργηματικό «2666» και το, λίγο πιο χαμηλότονο αλλά για μένα ισάξιο, «Άγριοι ντετέκτιβ». Από κει και μπρος ήταν θέμα χρόνου για να αρχίσει να μεταφράζεται όλο του το έργο. Εγώ ξεκίνησα να διαβάζω το «Μακρινό αστέρι», μ
Henry Martin
My first Bolaño and certainly not the last. Unfortunately for Bolaño, my reading of The Skating Rink came on the tail end of reading a few exceptional works in a row. Thus, The Skating Rink only receives three stars.

The story itself was interesting, albeit none too exceptional. Where he scores high with me is in the narrative, or rather the narrators. Three different individuals narrate this story, which is hard to write. Unfortunately, while they start off with fairly distinct voices, they sor
Feb 24, 2012 Frankie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: latino
I'm on the fence about whether I'll read more from Bolaño. I'm not a big fan of detective novels, though I've read my share of journalistic novels or murder mysteries. Capote's In Cold Blood and Garcia Marquez's News of a Kidnapping come to mind as the only things I've read in this vein. The characters were very well-developed, original and realistic. The political aspect of the novel succeeds, as in GGM's novels, by dint of Orwellian small town (X, Y, Z…) economics and corruption.

I love the nar
Jim Fonseca
Aug 31, 2013 Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mexican-authors
A haunting novel by the much-acclaimed, late Roberto Bolano. A cast of characters from both sides of the tracks assemble in a coastal resort town in Spain. We have a governmental official, second-in-command to the woman mayor of the city; an opportunistic entrepreneurial businessman who runs tourist gift shops and bars; a down-and-out Chilean poet; a national champion beautiful figure skater and several semi-homeless folks who live on-and-off in abandoned houses and a campground. The story is to ...more
This is Bolaño's first published novel and the first of his novels I've read. Told by three narrators, a Catalan public ifficial, a Chilean expat business owner, and a down and out Mexican poet who is working for the Chilean, an old friend.

At first, it seemed like Bolaño was telegraphing what was going to happen in this seaside murder mystery. By the midway point, I was sure I knew what was going to happen, but once the crime was revealed, I was pleasantly surprised. And after the reveal and its
Felipe Salazar
Feb 06, 2016 Felipe Salazar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me gustó bastante, es una novela ágil, que va contando con las distintas voces el desarrollo de la historia poco a poco, lo que le da un toque de originalidad (además de, por supuesto, el tema de la novela: una pista de hielo en una mansión abandonada). Bolaño tiene la virtud de escribir de forma "simple" pero esa simpleza es engañosa, va creando atmósferas y describiendo situaciones de una forma que me recuerda a Cortázar, que capta muy bien las tensiones y fuerzas que interactúan en toda relac ...more
Dec 31, 2016 Adriana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me encanta Bolaño y cómo te mete en su mundo inconfundible apenas arranca el libro. La pista de hielo es menor dentro de sus novelas, pero igual muy disfrutable. Tiene varios de los elementos bolañescos como mujeres muertas, poetas latinoamericanos exiliados, muchas voces, personajes que como dice Palma dan sus coartadas (esta vez explícitamente), aunque sin alcanzar el mismo desarrollo y complejidad que en 2666, Los detectives salvajes, etc. Va re bien para leer en las vacaciones.
pierlapo  quimby
Da Gran Maestro Alchemico qual era, Roberto Bolaño conosceva il segreto mistico per eccellenza: infondere vita alle parole.
Sotto il suo sguardo stralunato, come preda di un incantesimo, le lettere si assemblano in parole che formano periodi, capitoli, racconti, storie.
E dalla malia non si sfugge.
Letteratura e vita, come sempre.
Jan 06, 2015 Tayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though it's his first and least Bolaño-esque book, all the essential elements are still here. Bolaño stand-in (Gaspar) as the campgrounds watchman (which he'd later revisit in Detectives and also in Antwerp), multiple points of view, the desperados, vagrants, and vagabonds that populate his stories. I'd compare it to his other Detectives spin-off, Amulet, though I like this one better.
Nov 06, 2016 Rafael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
O caleidoscópio noir de um Bolaño em formação. Ideias sobre A Pista de Gelo de Roberto Bolaño

Desde quando li 2666, me proponho a ler, pelo menos, um Bolaño por ano. É um dos poucos escritores a cuja obra me dedico de forma tão constante (alguns poderiam dizer obsessiva). Pois bem. O Bolãno de 2016 foi A Pista de Gelo, segundo romance do autor publicado originalmente em 1993 (o primeiro, “Senda dos Elefantes” publicado em 1984, seria reeditado em 1999 como Monsieur Pain).

O argumento de A Pista de
Terry Pitts
May 16, 2017 Terry Pitts rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"The Skating Rink" is narrated by three men who live in a small town near Barcelona. Collectively, they tell the back story of a murder and a scandal. Enric, one of the narrators heads a city department and is dating a female figure skater who is vying for the Spanish Olympic team. When she is mysteriously banned from the rink where she has been practicing, he misappropriates city funds in order to build a skating rink within an abandoned mansion. Eventually, a homeless woman is found stabbed to ...more
Sentimental Surrealist
This novel, often erroneously reported as Bolano's first (it was predated by an early version of Monsieur Pain entitled the Elephant Walk and Confessions of a Joyce Disciple to a Morrison Fanatic, the later of which has yet to be translated into English; Antwerp was also written beforehand; it was, however, the earliest chronologically to receive an English translation, at least if one takes into account that Antwerp was left unpublished for decades. Bolano's bibliography was a MESS) hinges on t ...more
Ana Mstt
May 11, 2017 Ana Mstt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disfruté mucho este libro pues es una historia divertida y atroz, pero son los personajes y su narración los que nos dan una lectura diversa, con pasajes excéntricos, pero que nunca se sienten forzados, pues por más raras que sean las situaciones, da la sensación de que podría pasarle a cualquiera.
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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.

More about Roberto Bolaño...

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“We all have to die a bit every now and then and usually it's so gradual that we end up more alive than ever. Infinitely old and infinitely alive.” 20 likes
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