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A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bola??o (2016-04-07)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bola??o (2016-04-07).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Roberto Bola??o(Author)

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4.2 (7340)
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  • Roberto Bola??o(Author)
  • Picador (1891)
  • Unknown
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Review Text

  • By Sesho on July 1, 2016

    This little novel starts off with the interesting first line " Now I'm a mother and a married woman, but not long ago, I led a life of crime." Bianca, a high schooler in Rome, Italy is the narrator and the story picks up shortly after her parents are killed in a car accident. She and her younger brother drop out of school because it doesn't interest them anymore and get jobs. They don't have any real skills so the jobs they get aren't really good career choices. Bianca washes hair in a salon and her brother becomes a janitor at a gym. The siblings soon find two other equally ambitious roommates when the brother brings home two dudes who don't seem to have names. They are simply called the Bolognan and the Libyan. Bianca, for lack of anything better to do, begins to sleep with both of them every night. She doesn't even know which one she is sleeping with! In the dark, one of them, the Bolognan or the Libyan, comes into her room, and they have sex. For all we know, sometimes it might even be her brother! Life just bumbles along for them from day to day, pretty meaningless, until Bianca's brother and his two "friends" come up with an idea to score money. Problem is, it might involve some criminal activity.When a book starts with the narrator talking about leading a life of crime and the blurb on the back of the volume says "Bianca learns how low she can fall" you would expect her to do some awful things, right? I don't know how that jives with what I read. To me, Bianca never really did anything horrible. She doesn't murder anyone, she doesn't steal anything. Yeah, she watches porn and sleeps with two guys, not really caring who it is she's having sex with. Is that bad? She never really sinks to the depths of say, Eponine in Les Miserables, or any number of characters from Dickens. She just has a crappy job, a loser brother, and two useless roommates. Instead of being some kind of anti-hero or villain, she too just seems like a loser.I know this book is short, clocking in at 109 pages, but you can still tell a whole story in that length. To me, the ending of A Little Lumpen Novelita just leaves you dangling. I wasn't really clamoring for more but don't just stop mid sentence. I felt as though the book was unfinished, like it was the beginning of a longer novel. The back of the book says this was the last book published before the author died, so I wonder if it was rushed just to get something out on the market. This was the first time I've read Bolano, and while I wasn't very impressed, I think he could do a lot better with a longer book instead of cutting himself off like he did in this work. I'll definitely try another one of his books.

  • By Roger Brunyate on October 31, 2014

    I got this from the library, and enjoyed it. I'm glad I did not purchase it, though; at a market price of $19.25*, this comes to over a quarter per page of text. Not to say that it is not a beautifully printed book, pleasant to hold, easy to read, and with an evocative cover. But given that there are two blank pages, and often three, between each short chapter, the 109 pages in the book are reduced to about 65 of actual text. Not a good bargain. It seems that Bolaño's publishers have been squeezing out every last drop of his legacy ever since his death in 2003.OK, rant over. There is a reason for the continued interest even in Bolaño's minor works, because the man is just so darned good. Especially as translated by his longtime collaborator, Natasha Wimmer; I have read him also in Spanish, and the pleasure is just the same. In this coming-of-age story with a twist, we slip easily into the mind of Bianca, its teenage narrator, feeling the succession of her emotions -- grief, confusion, fear, anomie, affection, shame -- but at the same time look down on her body as though from a great height. I have that the wrong way around, actually: Bianca herself is largely disassociated from her feelings, and goes through the traumatic year as though in a dream. But we know that the feelings must be there hidden; Bolaño's achievement is to make us hunt for them."Now I'm a mother and a married woman, but not long ago I led a life of crime. My brother and I had been orphaned. Somehow that justified everything. We didn't have anyone. And it all happened overnight."When their parents die in a car crash, the two teenagers find themselves alone in their Rome apartment. Soon, they have both dropped out of school and taken low-level jobs. Then one day the brother brings home two men, a Bolognan and a Libyan, both neat, polite, and helpful around the house. But there is a growing sense of disquiet, as though they are plotting a great crime. Bianca finds herself being roped into it, and makes some discoveries of her own. You might say that these are the discoveries of any teenager growing up, about sexuality, personhood, control. About morality, too. But it is here that Bolaño truly shows his skill, leading us inexorably one way, then another, then delivering an enigmatic ending that makes us think all over again. [4.5 stars for the story, but the pricing pulls it down]*Amazon's price, pre-postage, is better.

  • By Ken Onuska Berman on January 1, 2015

    Bolaño truly is a master, capturing a set if forlorn individuals and making you both care and happy you are not them......

  • By Vanessa Clark on August 27, 2017

    If my review was based solely on the writing alone, I'd give it five stars: it's gorgeous. But personally, I read for a story, and there wasn't one here. It was a let down because the cover is so alluring and enticing, and the narrator seduces us into the story to where we wonder what kind of dangerous life she lead, but it was all hype and hardly any action. So much build-up only for nothing to actually happen, at least nothing as scandalous and awful as it's made out to be. There wasn't even that much actual writing, I didn't mind that this was a slim read, but there was hardly any text, a lot of empty pages. I adore the author's writing style, but where's the story? That's all I kept asking while reading this, and to the end, I just don't know.

  • By Thomas Rossetti on September 9, 2017

    Taking forever to read Bolano's beautiful poetic prose. A few words evoke a world. Really don't want to know how he chooses to end it. Just like the ride!

  • By Nicholas on October 29, 2015

    It's a story that will impact people who identify with the character, but there is too much explicit material. The sex scenes are described in detail, and foul language sometimes. I'm a very modest person, so I was uncomfortable the whole time while reading this book.

  • By Jason Walker on March 23, 2017

    One of Bolano's best novellas. His short work is just as good as his long work. Moody, elegant, fast-paced, concise.

  • By PiestanskyMost on January 20, 2015

    Awful, pointless. Positive review from Junot Diaz got me interested, but really a waste of time. Characters are like inscrutable cardboard cut-outs. .

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