Tim Martin reviews Roberto Bolaño's The Skating Rink.
It took the English-speaking world until several years after Roberto Bolaño’s death in 2003 to get a sense of his genius in drip-fed translations, but, thanks to excellent English versions by (separately) Natasha Wimmer and Chris Andrews, a full-scale excavation of the Chilean novelist’s talent is now underway.Click to read the full article
The Skating Rink is just one of several novels, essays and poems that are scheduled for publication or reissue this year or next. The treats in store include not only an entire unpublished novel and a collection of stories but a lost sixth part to the compendious masterpiece 2666, the last book Bolaño completed before his death at the age of 50.
As The Skating Rink is a first novel – or, to be exact, the first novel that Bolaño published after his decision to switch from poetry to prose writing, in his forties – it might seem to be facing stiff competition from this emerging legacy. But never fear: elegant, elusive and amusing, this novel is more than capable of standing alongside the rest of Bolaño’s work, and both long-time fans of the author’s writing and those coming to it fresh will find much to love.