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Last Evenings on Earth Paperback – April 30, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“The most influential and admired novelist of his generation in the Spanish-speaking world.” (Susan Sontag)
“Just behind the nervy, deadpan narrative a total breakdown perpetually looms.” (Andersen Tepper - Village Voice)
“Brilliant.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Widely known in the Spanish-speaking world as the premier writer of his generation.” (Dan Pope - Hartford Courant)
“If you haven't heard of Roberto Bolaño yet, you will soon.” (Benjamin Lytal - The New York Sun)
“Bolaño's characters yearn for amnesia as well as for the ability to connect to someone or something in the present.” (Stephanie Hanson - Los Angeles Times)
“[B]leakly luminous stories...” (Publishers Weekly)
“His generation's premier Latin-American writer... Bolaño's reputation and legend are in meteoric ascent.” (Larry Rohter - The New York Times)
“Conjures dreamlike worlds that shock with their familiarity.” (Philip Herter - St. Petersburg Times)
“Complex and provocative.” (International Herald Tribune)
Top Customer Reviews
So concludes Bolano at the conclusion of one of the more engimatic stories in his collection, "Last Evenings on Earth." Ive been a big Bolano fan since reading his sprawling, loosely connected 3-part epic "2666." My regard for him only increased after I read "The Savage Detectives." I knew these two books were regarded as his highest achievement in fiction, so I was prepared that whatever else I might read in his relatively short career (he died at 50) would likely not raise the bar any higher.
Indeed, his short stories are wonderful; eschewing magical realism, they nevertheless manage to evoke something of that particular blend of personal passion, political violence, and phenomenolical alchemy that one has come to expect from Latin American literature, post Garcia Marquez. Bolano, however, is more of a skeptic, a realist, an existential tragedian. His stories depict lives--mostly those of writers and artists--lived on the outside of love, success, and easy contentment. There is, as Wayne Koestenbaum noted on the back of the book, a kind of "haze that floats above Bolano's fiction" that is addictive and that reminds me of the haze that fills Camus's "The Stranger." One senses that something bad will happen, that the characters know it (often they come right out and acknowledge their foreboding) and yet there is nothing they can do to alter the course of events towards the catastrophe.Read more ›
Of the fourteen stories in this collection, I put stars in the table of contents next to "The Grub," "Anne Moore's Life," and "Last Evenings on Earth" (in a discussion of the author, I once heard "Anne Moore's Life" described as quintessential Bolaño, which is what prompted me to get this book). I won't describe each story because they wouldn't sound very good and you might not read them, which would be a shame. And the strength of these stories is not as much the plot as the intoxicating mood the author creates and recreates time and again.
All the stories are accessible and enjoyable, with 'Last Evenings on Earth' about a father and sons trip to Acapulco-one trying to revive his youth, the other trying to move on, 'Sensini' about the letters and friendship between two writers of varying success and 'Anne Moore's life' exploring how our lives are altered and made by a combination of fate chance and-often-poor decisions encapsulate the themes Bolano muses upon.
Since his death, it seems as if every scrap of paper Bolano ever wrote on is immediately published-most likely material that Bolano had either discarded or was working on-that have diluted his great works and made people wonder what the fuss is all about, which is a great shame. 'Last Evenings on Earth' was published by Bolano when he was alive, is how he intended it, and is pure Bolano through and through. A book to read and enjoy and realise that "The fuss" is well placed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bolaños stories are uniquely from a world that is both familiar and bizarre. He consistently delves into the world of literature, writers and poets in his stories and yet... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Osvaldo Q
It's been a few years since I've read any Bolano (2666 left me scarred), so I figured it was time to plunge back in. Read morePublished 12 months ago by jafrank
dead SA writer rambling on about other dead SA writers. Cocktail party fodder but boring.Published 21 months ago by Read&Sell
Typical Bolano; but reading a bit little too typical. An existential collection of stories with Bolano's favourite characters: unsuccessful writers.Published on January 18, 2014 by Shivaji Das
each story is different enough in narrative, yet all share similarity in style -- a great style! very real mixture of coincidence in the story line which often covers large time... Read morePublished on January 2, 2014 by Ramses Visher
Bolano is incomparable. For long serious wonderful reviews of Bolano see biblioklept. Why do I have to write eight more words just to meet the requirements of this software. Read morePublished on December 4, 2013 by abbeysbooks