Unpublished during Bolano's lifetime, the complete typescript of this novel – meticulously corrected by hand – was discovered after his death in 2003. This is the first English language publication.
Shortly after becoming the German war-games champion, Udo Berger and his girlfriend, Ingeborg, take a holiday on the Costa Brava. There they meet another vacationing German couple, Charly and Hanna, and a band of shady locals – including the Wolf and the Lamb – who introduce them to the darker side of life in the town. Then, late one night, Charly disappears without a trace, and Udo's well-ordered life is thrown into upheaval...
Refusing to leave the resort, even after Ingeborg returns home, Udo's increasingly feverish dreams push him into delirium. As everything slips beyond his grasp, he attempts to re-assert himself by engaging the enigmatic and severely disfigured El Quemado – a foreigner who lives in a Spartan burrow on the beach – in a days-long match of his favourite war game, Third Reich. But, too late to stop the madness, he realises that the consequences of this game are more serious than he ever imagined.
Less fragmented than his shorter work, this visceral novel exploring memory, madness and violence will be both a welcome addition to the established oeuvre and a significant new work for those yet to discover the strange, oblique genius of Roberto Bolano.
Roberto Bolano was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. He grew up in Chile and Mexico City. His novel, The Savage Detectives was chosen as one of the ten best books of 2007 by the Washington Post and the New York Times Book Review. His posthumous masterpiece, 2666, won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Modern & Contemporary Fiction