Tony's Reviews > The Skating Rink

The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolaño
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's review
Jan 02, 2010

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bookshelves: latin-american, chilean
Read in January, 2010

The Skating Rink is not really a mystery, although there is certainly a death and a surprise revelation of who the murderer is. And that resolution, motiveless as it is, is unsatisfying. But forget genre. The genre is Bolano. Once you've read 2666, you need a fix like this.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by DB (new) - rated it 4 stars

DB Wholeheatedly agree. Once Bolano sets his hooks in you a fix is definitely needed from time to time. There were some unsatisfying elements in the plot but overall it still evoked the Bolano magic. I find Bolano comparable to Kafka in that he creates an atmosphere that is signature and tangible. While The Skating Rink is probably minor Bolano, its a book that I consistently recommend to the Bolano neophyte. In a small package it touches on themes and motifs that he conistenly mines in his greater works.

Tony Yes. After reading 2666, I have this need to read everything Bolano has written. For that reason, I have no hesitation recommending 2666 as the starting point. Two things about TSR caused me to stumble, though. One was the handful of times that the word "to" was missing in sentences. I couldn't tell whether the problem was the translator, the editor, or me. Secondly, the character 'The Rookie' kind of snuck in and out of the story and, given his ultimate importance, I wondered what I missed.

message 3: by DB (new) - rated it 4 stars

DB I agree that the handling of The Rookie was a bit clumsy, especially conidering the role he played as the story unfolded. As far as the "to" goes, translated literature will have those hiccups, as you know, and it can be frustrating at times. Bad translation has ruined Sartre's works for me, absolutely abysmal translation. Im getting Bolano's newest work, Monsieur Pain, any day now in the mail. Cant wait. Good luck on your future Bolano readings and I look forward to reading your insights on them.

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