Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Skating Rink Hardcover – August 28, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Darkly funny, but also tender and complex in the tenor of classic Bolaño novels.” (Savannah ("Savvy") Jones - SirReadaLot.org)
“…this Catalan drama sizzles with unrequited love and murderous ambition.” (Emma Hagestadt - The Independent)
“A highly engaging novel of lyricism, menace and beauty.” (James Yeh - The Faster Times)
“Passion, mystery, seedy bars, and Bolaño's Olympian irony are here, as always.” (The Village Voice)
“The latest release in the series of highly masterful and literary translations by Chris Andrews…. Deserves to be read widely.” (Rosemary Aud Franklin - World Literature Today)
“Lucid fury . . . is a pretty good description of Bolaño’s aesthetic. He is a novelist of voraciousness without sentiment, hardness to a fever pitch.” (Todd Shy - San Francisco Chronicle)
“One of the strangest mysteries...with its dark-summer heat that all but comes off the page.” (Marilis Hornidge - The Lincoln County News)
“A Book of the Year: The Skating Rink leavens the melancholy of exile with an interest in the uncanny and a knack for the surrealist image.” (Siddhartha Deb - Times Literary Supplement)
“This short, exquisite novel is another unlikely masterpiece, as sui generis as all his books so far…Bolano in The Skating Rink manages to honor genre conventions while simultaneously exploding them, creating a work of intense and unrealized longing.” (Wyatt Mason - The New York Times Book Review)
“A stunning work of fiction. It is infused with a gritty poeticism and a unique worldview.” (Don Sjoerdsma - Northwest Phoenix [Indiana University])
“When I read Bolaño, I think: everything is possible again....How he makes one laugh! The laughter of someone who just escaped being buried live, and suddenly remembers how badly she wants to live.” (Nicole Krauss, author of The History of Love)
About the Author
The poet Chris Andrews teaches at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, where he is a member of the Writing and Society Research Center. He has translated books by Roberto Bolaño and César Aira for New Directions.
Top Customer Reviews
Luckily, I was not at all disappointed. While his writing style is certainly different (It's more straightforward, most notably because of the inclusion of a solid plot and lack of poetic ramblings) it's just as good. It was just as thrilling to read as his best novels, and in turn ranks as one of his best. While I didn't think it had quite the power of By Night in Chile, I think it was more powerful than Amulet and Distant Star. It also works well as a starting point for people who want to read Bolano.
It has all of the mystery, violence, politics and beauty we've come to expect in Bolano's writing, as well as many scenes that feel very personal.
If you've read and loved Bolano, you surely won't be disappointed by this novel. And if you haven't read him, this is on par with Last Evenings on Earth as an excellent starting place to get to know his dark beauty and black humor.
Also, in case you weren't sure, the official release date is August 28th, but you can order right now and get it.
The story revolves around a mysterious Spanish seaside town Z (close to Y and just a drive away from Z, as it turns out). It is told through the eyes of three men - Remo Morán, an artist and business owner; Enric Rosquelles, a fat, wary and arrogant employee of the town's first socialist mayor Pilar; and Gaspar Heredia, a vagabond and poet who gets a job at a campground thanks to his old friend, Remo Morán - and culminates with, what else?, murder! That it is also a love story and one of the first pieces of prose from Bolaño (published in 1993 as La piesta de hielo) adds layers to an already fascinating character study and mystery.
Like anyone who had fallen (or been tricked) to love Roberto Bolaño over the years (I myself discovered him in translation, in 2006, three years after his death, reading By Night In Chile, Distant Star and Last Evenings on Earth back to back) will recognize the early contributions that he would perfect in his two masterpieces, The Savage Detectives and 2666. His mixture of the innane and mercurial and violent is mesmerizing. The way Z unfolds as Gaspar chased Caridad, his descriptions of the Palacio Benvingut ("labyrintine, chaotic, indecisive...") where the murder takes places, or his creation of the beautiful figure skater, Nuria Martí.Read more ›
Those three narrators are all men, writing about their involvement with women. The women remain phantom obsessions in the men's minds. Two of the narrators are what Bolaño calls "hardened poets," a sub-species unknown in most northern climates but endemic to Bolaño's later writings as well. The third is a self-important obnoxious bureaucrat; Bolaño struggles, I think, to make this character psychologically credible. Someone will get murdered, readers are told early in the story, and all three narrators will be involved, but there isn't precisely a mystery. The murder occurs late in the book, and the victim isn't who one has been led to expect. The main action takes place in a sleazy beach town on the Catalan Costa Brava, where decomposition rules.
Social and individual decomposition would become Bolaño's overriding theme in his later books, along with despair and depravity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A corageous structure, great depicting, not bolanesque perfection perhaps but the few defects give the book an organic feeling of genius.Published 7 days ago by Lina W
Was it Bolano's intention to make all the characters sound the same? Their interior thoughts, they rhythm of their narratives? Read morePublished 5 months ago by PassionateReader
A haunting novel by the much-acclaimed, late Roberto Bolano. A cast of characters from both sides of the tracks assemble in a coastal resort town in Spain. Read morePublished on August 20, 2013 by James W. Fonseca
Like in other Bolano's books, this keeps the mystery until the very end, while having a very contemporary-day story.. Read morePublished on November 20, 2012 by Mayo
I would consider myself a huge Roberto Bolano fan, and I did not encounter the Skating Rink until after I'd read 2666, the Savage Detectives, By Night in Chile, Nazi Literature in... Read morePublished on August 11, 2011 by Chris
The thing I liked most about this book was its form. The chapters alternate between the three main characters, and unfold in first person, as if each character were telling his... Read morePublished on January 6, 2011 by Julie W. Capell
A little dark, but fascinating. Shows how politics and matters of the heart can become so intertwined that clear thinking goes out the window.Published on June 24, 2010 by Catadiana
Anyone who has enjoyed the roman durs works of George Simenon will be entranced by this early Bolano "mystery" novel. Read morePublished on May 31, 2010 by John Sollami