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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bolaño

A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bolaño, Translated by Natasha Wimmer, AF, 2014, Hardcover, 109p, My Rating=3.5
Source: library

"Now I am a mother and a married woman, but not long ago I led a life of crime": so Bianca begins her tale of growing up the hard way in Rome. Orphaned overnight as a teenager - "our parents died in a car crash on their first vacation without us" - she drops out of school, gets a crappy job, and drifts into bad company. Her little brother brings home two petty criminals who need a place to stay. As the four of them share the family apartment and plot a strange crime, Bianca learns how low she can fall.

Electric, tense with foreboding, and written in jagged, propulsive short chapters, A Little Lumpen Novelita delivers a surprising, fractured fable of seizing control of one's fate.

I knew I was in for a read when the epigraph read, "All writing is garbage. People who come out of nowhere to try and put into words any part of what goes on in their minds are pigs. All writers are pigs. Especially writers today." (Antonin Artaud). Yep, this novella turned out to be strange with despondent characters. But I think the peculiarity was well told. It was easy to turn the pages and I felt satisfied by books end. Looks like Mr. Bolaño's a gifted and enticing storyteller.

Content: sexual reference

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