Marcos's Reviews > By Night in Chile

By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolaño
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's review
Jan 01, 2012

really liked it
Read in December, 2011

By Night in Chile, Mr. Bolano’s first work translated into English is one of those works that is both maddeningly annoying, yet brilliant and sharp as nails at the same time. It’s a great precursor to those great works that I’ve read, long published after this small masterpiece had been.

The novella basically is about Father Urrutia, a Conservative priest who once upon a time, wanted to be both a critic and poet. Instead, circumstances in his life forced him into the priesthood. The book is a long winded and maddening single paragraph that criticizes Allende’s suppression of literature in the 1970s; as well as simply an absurdist rant of a priest going mad: “Plain martyrs are not so interesting any more, are they?...we Chileans possess to an uncommon degree, the sharpest of all our senses, the sense of the ridiculous” (Bolano 110, New Directions).

Overall, the all the hallmarks of a great Bolano novel are in this work: Wry, detached sentences, overflowing with sadness and frustration.

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