By Night in Chile

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New Directions Publishing, Dec 17, 2003 - Fiction - 130 pages
161 Reviews

A deathbed confession revolving around Opus Dei and Pinochet, By Night in Chile pours out the self-justifying dark memories of the Jesuit priest Father Urrutia.

As through a crack in the wall, By Night in Chile's single night-long rant provides a terrifying, clandestine view of the strange bedfellows of Church and State in Chile. This wild, eerily compact novel—Roberto Bolano's first work available in English—recounts the tale of a poor boy who wanted to be a poet, but ends up a half-hearted Jesuit priest and a conservative literary critic, a sort of lap dog to the rich and powerful cultural elite, in whose villas he encounters Pablo Neruda and Ernst Junger. Father Urrutia is offered a tour of Europe by agents of Opus Dei (to study "the disintegration of the churches," a journey into realms of the surreal); and ensnared by this plum, he is next assigned—after the destruction of Allende—the secret, never-to-be-disclosed job of teaching Pinochet, at night, all about Marxism, so the junta generals can know their enemy. Soon, searingly, his memories go from bad to worse. Heart-stopping and hypnotic, By Night in Chile marks the American debut of an astonishing writer.
  

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Masterful story telling. - Goodreads
The wordy, stream of consciousness prose grew tiresome. - Goodreads
Beautiful, dense, poetic writing - Goodreads
Subtle portrayal of life under dictatorship. - Goodreads
The best prose is always subtle. - Goodreads
Yes, the writing is damn beautiful. - Goodreads

Review: By Night in Chile

User Review  - JL Torres - Goodreads

Masterful story telling. This is one long confession by an erstwhile priest that covers a lifetime of encounters and events mixing Chilean literary culture and the Catholic church. That the rambling ... Read full review

Review: By Night in Chile

User Review  - Timb - Goodreads

this book is essentially a 130 page long paragraph and it's pretty rad even though it's hard hard to grasp the big picture at times. falcons = dirty birds Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Author of 2666 and many other acclaimed works, Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, Paris, and Spain. He has been acclaimed “by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time” (Ilan Stavans, The Los Angeles Times),” and as “the real thing and the rarest” (Susan Sontag). Among his many prizes are the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos. He was widely considered to be the greatest Latin American writer of his generation. He wrote nine novels, two story collections, and five books of poetry, before dying in July 2003 at the age of 50.

The poet Chris Andrews has translated many books by Roberto Bolaño and César Aira for New Directions.

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