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The Secret of Evil

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  746 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
A North American journalist in Paris is woken at 4 a.m. by a mysterious caller with urgent information. For V. S. Naipaul the prevalence of sodomy in Argentina is a symptom of the nation’s political ills. Daniela de Montecristo (familiar to readers of Nazi Literature in the Americas and 2666) recounts the loss of her virginity. Arturo Belano returns to Mexico City and meet ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published April 30th 2012 by New Directions (first published January 15th 2007)
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Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the love of God: don't make this your first venture into Bolaño. Here are but scraps decoupaged by eager (greedy?) editors that have canonized, rightfully so, the tragic author. But here we see him mimicking the talented Mr. Puig (the brilliant Argentinian) in his movie/zeitgeist insight, in his critical statements, all of which are incredibly beautifully put. He is also infatuated with prolonged lists (well, duh, just recall "The Women" section of "2666," itself almost 266 pages long--a gri ...more
Mike Puma

I’m increasingly approaching these posthumous publications of Bolaño’s work with more and more skepticism. In the preface to this volume, Ignacio Echevarría (the literary executor of Bolaño’s estate, and presumably a good, loyal friend who RB trusted with the livelihood of his family), states, “All his narratives, not just The Secret of Evil, seem to be governed by a poetics of inconclusiveness”—that as much seems to be the case as it seems to be an excellent marketing ploy to publish these piec

The completism instinct is good for literary capitalists yet crappy for those compelled to read an author's entire output. Completism is the highest compliment for a writer but risks insulting the reader. Completists at worst are head-over-heels lovers spurned for loving too much (punished for revealing hyper-thumping hearts). I'd love to see New Directions combine all the recent slim Bolano volumes into a single burly Cuentos Collected. ND did offer an Xmas sale of three hardbacks for $40 (a ba ...more
Trovato Solo
A veces leer Roberto Bolaño da la idea que la persona en parte no sabe lo que está haciendo. De impulso, pero también pensando en los diferentes temas de los capítulos del libro, el sujeto se hace la idea que el escritor quiere provocar el lector. […] Obviamente, incluso con "El secreto del mal" el poeta chileno vaga desinhibido con su imaginación. Como dice el mismo poeta: tal vez es para masturbarse antes de ir a dormir.
En la historia del ilbro algunos capítulos son razonables, otros no guar
Giuseppe Sirugo
A volte leggere Roberto Bolaño dà l'idea che la persona non sappia cosa sta facendo. D’impulso, come anche pensando ai diversi temi dei capitoli del libro, lo scrittore rende l'idea che vuole provocare il lettore: ovviamente pure con "El secreto del mal" il poeta cileno vaga disinibito con la sua immaginazione. Come dice lo stesso: forse la sua è una maniera di masturbarsi prima di andare a dormire.
Le storie di alcuni capitoli del libro sono ragionevoli, ma ci sono pure alquanti racconti che non
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He lived only fifty years, did Roberto Bolaño, but he left us with not a few mysteries, of which The Secret of Evil is only one. And what is this book? It is nothing less than a number of stories Bolaño had left on his computer when he died. And are these stories finished? Are any of them finished? I don't know.

But one thing I do know: This Chilean author who lived much of his life in exile had the gift. Even his fragments are full of excitement and, yes, mystery. One story, which I had read onc
as the pool of roberto bolaño's as yet untranslated (or unpublished) work draws ever shallower, fans of the late chilean novelist and poet are left hungering for whatever wayward morsels still remain. while those eager to devour something as bountiful as the savage detectives or 2666 are likely to be left unsated, bolaño's residual writings nonetheless offer a complementary (if not integral) glimpse into his towering and singular body of work. so it is with the secret of evil, a collection of 19 ...more
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leer a Bolano es un placer y dos tristezas. El primero se explica solo. Las dos segundas necesitan unas lineas: la primera, es saber que jamas voy a poder escribir 4 lineas como el (esta es una tristeza mas bien dura, cruel); la segunda, es la pena de saber que, cuando termine que leer todo lo que ha escrito, ya no va a haber mas Bolano. Quedara releer lo leido (ya lo hice con "Los Detectives Salvajes")

Leia en la introduccion al libro que no se sabe, en la mayoria de los cuentos, si Bolano los h
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mexique, chili, nouvelles
Este libro, no lo escribió Bolaño. Escribió sus cuentos y otros textos pero murió antes de publicarles. El editor lo señala en su introducción y justifica sus elecciones. Bueno...

Conocí a Roberto Bolaño con las historias cortas de Llamadas telefónicas y quede fascinada. En algunas historias de El secreto del mal, encuentro de nuevo esta voz que tanto me gusta, como en "La colonia Lindavista" o "Playa". En otras, es un reencuentro con un Arturo Belano grande, este poeta de los Detectives salvajes
Finished this book in the train, from Lloret de Mar back to Barcelona. The day’s last train. The train was empty. It was Sunday. (As Bolaño would have put it: “Then he sees himself – and it’s as if he’s watching a movie, a movie so sad he’d never go to see it.”).
All the while, there was an incessant buzzing in my head. Perhaps it was because of too much alcohol. But I choose to interpret it as the sound of Roberto Bolaño spinning in his grave, at 180 rpm. Not sure he would have wanted these “st
Allan MacDonell
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s like when Jimi Hendrix died, or Tupac for instance, and album after posthumous album of material in various degrees of fragment and finished work was scraped together and sold: You were happy with what you could get, and The Secret of Evil has enough of Roberto Bolaño’s raw alchemy to make the ardent Bolaño admirer glad it’s here, and wish again that the author still was too.
Arif Abdurahman
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Komputer Bolano diubek, dan semua tulisan yg tertinggal di dalamnya sudah pasti jadi buku. Beberapa tulisan dalam buku ini sudah banyak yg tersebar di internet, bahkan saya pernah menerjemahkan salah satunya.
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Me resulta imposible dar una calificación inferior a Bolaño, pero solo es recomendable para los arqueólogos de los que habría podido ser después del 2003.
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wonder if Roberto Bolaño might not be the almost perfect writer—the near perfect novelist and the near perfect poet. I can’t imagine him writing substandard fiction or inferior poetry. It is not merely his stories and plotting that are engaging and gravitational but he is a master of style, too. He has extended creative language in ways we are only beginning to understand. And that creativity is evident in English translations as well as in the original Spanish where the impact can be transcen ...more
Pauli Vilchez
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: propia
Que pena que sea póstumo, hay muchos relatos incompletos que hubiese sido genial leer enteros, aunque leí por ahí (cahuín de internet) que esto de los relatos póstumos sin terminar es solo una treta editorial. :(
Tony Laplume
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
EDIT: I originally read this only a few days after my mother's death last year, and so when I bought this again, innocently enough, a few weeks back, only to realize I'd already read it, I think I can be excused.

But you don't need such elaborate excuses to read Bolańo. Reading him is like coming home. I remembered a few of the pieces, once I'd read them again, but reading them again, and the ones I couldn't remember, was to learn all over again why I love Bolańo. He's as close as I've found to a
Xian Xian
Slowly, I am plowing through the works of Bolaño, it’s like a journey of some sorts. Like most people, I started off with The Savage Detectives. I bought The Savage Detectives and 2666 together after scrolling around on the internet and seeing a photograph of book eye candy. In that pile was a lovely Spanish edition, the original language, of 2666. Out of curiosity, I searched up the book and read about Roberto on Wikipedia, ever since then I wanted the book. So I read The Savage Detectives and ...more
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En efecto este cuarto libro de cuentos contiene varios relatos inconclusos que con certeza no habrían visto la luz, claro está en un sentido literario, sino fuese por el afán de exprimir la rentabilidad de la maestral narrativa de Bolaño. Fuera de lo anterior, hay otros que sorprenden una vez más, como "El hijo del coronel", una inocente reseña de una película de zombies (de esas que llaman de serie B) se convierte en una crónica del horror que te vuela la cabeza, así, sin caricias, despiadada e ...more
Felipe Salazar
Hay varios relatos que claramente son esbozos incompletos y nada más. Pero hay un par de cuentos notables: "El hijo del coronel" y "Laberinto", que sí son historias más elaboradas y bien pulidas. Probablemente estos relatos podrían incluirse en el nuevo libro de cuentos inéditos que se prepara, dejando el relleno de lado. La conferencia "Sevilla me mata" es muy interesante, destaco esta parte:

"¿De dónde viene la nueva literatura latinoamericana? La respuesta es sencillísima. Viene del miedo. Vi
"...We're getting famous, they say, but we're still rebels. The way of Ulises Lima, they say, Ulises Lima's tracer fire...Mexican kids staring out at him from photos or from hell, holding their electric guitars as if they were brandishing weapons or freezing to death." - Death of Ulises

an incandescent collection of scattered gems from Bolaño: the best zombie movie treatment ever written (The Colonel's Son), the exegesis of a photograph ( Labyrinth ), the Vagaries of the Literature of Doom ("One
Ted Lewis
Apparently, this book is comprised of some of the last, unfinished work found on Bolano's computer at the time of his death. While several of the pieces feel finished and are quite effective (Labyrinth, The Colonel's Son and Beach are particularly strong), a number of the stories feel like sketches. Either way, occasionally middling Bolano is better and more interesting than a good deal of today's fiction.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Realmente no tengo nada que criticarle, es una colección de cuentos y está muy bien, soy solo yo, con mi problema leyendo cosas tan cortas y que me dejan indiferente.

Está muy bien para los que quieren leer más de Bolaño pero no le recomendaría a nadie que comenzara a leer al autor por aquí.
Greg Bem
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt my insides emerge as components of wholes not necessarily needing completion.
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also the title of Trump's forthcoming sequel to "Art of the Deal".
Alexis Vélez
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hace ya varios años que perdimos al gran escritor que fue Bolaño, pero en su computadora nos dejó muchos escritos los cuales jamás sabremos si están incompletos o simplemente se escribieron usando la poética de la inconclusión, técnica con la que Bolaño le gustaba jugar. De eso se trata este libro, un recopilatorio de todos estos relatos que te dejan con el desespero y la ansiedad por saber como hubieran terminado. Algo que fue una agradable sorpresa fue leer varios relatos que cuentan la vida d ...more
Bennett Starnes
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it's certainly not something you should use as an intro to Bolaño, but if you like what he's written & are okay with the disappointment that some of these seem like great jumping-off points for stories, or the middle passage in an unwritten short story, you'll like this one.
Money grab? Possibly, but when his writing - even in this half-complete state - is as good as it is, folks like me will happily buy a copy.
Oh, querido Bolaño, ¿cuántos inéditos más seguirán publicando? ¿Qué pensarías de ver cuán ansiosos nos asomamos a estos relatos/bosquejos con la esperanza de hallar respuestas a los enigmas que nos dejan tus obras? No lo sé. No sé si es justo. O necesario. Pero qué le vamos a hacer, somos unos canallas.
Amex Rijal
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marxisme dalam Semesta Bolaño. saya sarankan baca tulisan martin suryajaya ini dulu, sedikitnya akan membantu memahami cerita-cerita bolaño yang agak heuheu~
Aleksandra Sander
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that I finally read some Bolaño, looking forward to read his 2666.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shouldn't have started with the B Sides & Rarities, but definitely want to read more
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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.

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“This story is very simple, although it could have been very complicated. Also, it's incomplete, because stories like this don't have an ending.” 2 likes
“God and chance belonged to art, eternity and labyrinths to science.” 2 likes
More quotes…