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sarahf1984

Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolano (Translated by Chris Andrews)

By Night in Chile - Chris Andrews, Roberto BolaƱo

14/10 - Goodness! This whole book, all 118 pages of it is one long chapter, and one loooong paragraph. There isn't a single break in the text from beginning to end. This is slightly annoying because there is absolutely no natural place to put the book down, you just have to stop in the middle of the paragraph. It's also slightly intimidating to look at, just a huge block of seemingly never-ending text (never-ending despite the fact that it's only 118 pages long). To be continued...

 
Later - The plot is quite interesting, but having all these authors' (mostly Chilean, I think, if they are indeed real) names thrown at me is getting confusing especially when I'm not sure whether they're real authors (or even people, I mean this is a fictional story).

There are a lot of threads running through this book for only having read 30 pages. Farewell, strange name, I wonder if it means something different in Spanish, is behaving like he's about to molest Sebastian (the narrator). Sebastian is strangely disgusted by the workers at Farewell's estate, something which I don't understand considering the fact that he trained as a priest. Sebastian keeps mentioning 'the wizened youth' and how this youth made a slur against his reputation (telling that story is supposedly the whole reason for this book, which is being told from Sebastian's deathbed), but it's unclear to me whether 'the wizened youth' is meant to represent himself when he was young and he himself did something that ruined his reputation, or if there really was a 'youth' who said/did something that created a scandal that has followed Sebastian ever since. To be continued...
 
16/10 - I think this would have been more relevant to me if I had even a minute amount of knowledge of Chilean writers or their works. Farewell and Sebastian kept comparing and discussing the merits of all these Chilean authors and I didn't even know whether those authors were real people. I even came to believe Sebastian himself was real (so many details of his fictional life were inserted into real events that I began to think it entirely possible), but then I googled him and got the biography of a Mexican soccer player, and I realised I had been fooled and Bolaño was simply very skilled at merging the fictional with the real.

In summation, this was an interesting read that I didn't really get the point of. I found it very similar in style to Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night. Both authors had a plot that they were working to, but were constantly drawn off in not particularly relevant tangents that made the plot hard to follow (or truly enjoy). Recommended if you have a plan to read a book by an author from every country in the world, and are missing Chile.