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Sex, violence and anticlimax in 16 (very short) chapters

Roberto Bolaño’s ‘novelita’ of orphaned siblings and mute lookalikes planning a crime spree in Rome ends in a strange red glow of ambiguity

23 April 2016

9:00 AM

23 April 2016

9:00 AM

A Little Lumpen Novelita Roberto Bolaño

Picador, pp.109, £8.99, ISBN: 9781447292913

‘Now I am a mother and a married woman, but not long ago I led a life of crime,’ begins this really very short book (assisted here, in its lumpen-ness, by the ingenious placement of two or three blank pages in between each of its 16 very short chapters). But it is not something scratched together posthumously from Roberto Bolaño’s papers, or resurrected out of early-career obscurity (as valuable as those kinds of books, appearing in English in recent years, have also been).

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