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Last Evenings on Earth


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Jester, June 2, 2007 (view all comments by Jester)
These short stories are strangely straightforward and lifelike, tracking relationships that are here and gone, dreamlike, occasionally nightmarish.
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(14 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
sharif78, May 20, 2007 (view all comments by sharif78)
We never stop reading, although every book comes to an end, just as we never stop living, although death is certain.

I dig Latin American writers, maybe it is the underlying socialist, post colonial theme or maybe the unconventional styles, once in a while there will be some writers that I cannot ignore. Roberto Bola?o, a Chilean novelist and poet is one of those writers. There is a recent surge of interest in his works due to English translations. He lived most of his life as nomad and this theme shows up in Last Evenings on Earth, a collection of 14 short stories wonderfully translated from Spanish by Chris Andrews. The horrors of Pinochet regime, loneliness of the Chilean exiles in Europe are some other concurrent themes.

Another interesting aspect of these stories is the characters that describe their literary tastes. We get to know, a writer, simply called B, aimlessly traveling in Mexico and Spain, who is obsessed with European and obscure Latin American writers. Here you can read the story Dance cards, from the collection on its entirety. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2003 at the age of 50.
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Edward, April 1, 2007 (view all comments by Edward)
A great collection of short stories. I discovered Bolano in March 2007 Beliver magazine and upon reading this translation I have not been disappointed. If you have ever received a refusal letter from a publisher, if you have ever chased a beloved author, or if you have ever experienced the great debate that only gorgeously written prose can offer-- then you must read this 1st person narrative delight. A splendid read!
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Product Details

Bolano, Roberto
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Andrews, Chris
Short Stories (single author)
General Fiction
Short stories
Exiles - Chile
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Last Evenings on Earth Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages New Directions Publishing Corporation - English 9780811216883 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

When he died in 2003, at the age of 50, Roberto Bolaño was all but unknown anywhere north of the Rio Grande, yet he is now acclaimed internationally and considered among the most eminent figures in Latin American letters. Chilean by birth, but living in exile throughout much of his life, Bolaño had always been a dedicated writer, yet began publishing with increasing fervor in the mid-1990s. Like much of his work, including the incomparable epic The Savage Detectives, Last Evenings on Earth is a bold, singular effort that defies easy classification. Many of the fourteen stories contained in Last Evenings are incisive, yet existentially enigmatic, tales of writers longing to discover the elusive answers to questions of craft and self, some of which turn out to be ambiguous at best. Often somber, even haunting, these short stories unfurl in the low-lit peripheries of prescience and immediacy that Bolaño most likely knew all too well.

"Review" by , "I am addicted to the haze that floats above Bolaño's fiction."
"Review" by , "The most influential and admired novelist of his generation in the Spanish-speaking world."
"Review" by , "Just behind the nervy, deadpan narrative a total breakdown perpetually looms."
"Review" by , "Brilliant.
"Review" by , "Widely known in the Spanish-speaking world as the premier writer of his generation."
"Synopsis" by , The first short-story collection in English by the acclaimed Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. Winner of a 2005 PEN Translation Fund Award.
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