7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not For Everyone,
This review is from: Antwerp (Hardcover)
If you have never read anything by Bolano before, then this book is probably not the best place to start. I would strongly suggest that you start with another of his books. The back cover claims 'The only novel that doesn't embarrass me is Antwerp', but Antwerp is only really a novel in a very loose sense. This book is made up of a series of sketches, or vignettes that are loosely connected. These can be seen as poetic prose and some of them are thematically cinematic in their style.
All of what can be seen as Bolano's motifs and themes are here, and have been collected in a concentrated form. As he changed from poetry to story writing Bolano was experimenting with the novel form as well as his own style. Written in 1980 more or less for himself this wasn't originally published until 2002, after he was famous for his novels.
The whole book gives a great insight into how an author starts and then develops through his works. For me, who am a Bolano fan I found this rewarding, but I suspect that a lot of people won't. If you are also a fan of Bolano then this is a must have for your collection.