Even with the amount of press that Roberto Bolaño has had over the last couple years, even from us, and with Horacio Castellanos Moya's- an author who's books She-Devil in the Mirror and Senselessness I consider to be a couple of the best books I read last year- article Bolaño Inc. damning North American press as being "squeezed dry", I would like everyone to read Monsieur Pain, the latest of Bolaño's novels to be released from New Directions.
My reasoning is this: Bolaño has been over marketed in the United States, primarily for Savage Detectives and 2666, both of which I found to be unstructured and a little to rambling for my liking and both of which I felt seemed a little unfinished.
But Bolaño is a master. He knew that his short fiction, short stories or novels, had to be exact and precise. This is the Bolaño that New Directions has been putting out since his death in 2003. These are books where every word matters, every action, description, and character planned out. They are books that deal with love, death, paranoia, and corruption. Monsieur Pain is no different.
Monsieur Pain is trying to cure César Vallejo, the Peruvian poet, who is on the verge of hiccuping himself to death from an undiagnosed illness. Meanwhile Pain is wandering through Paris trying to tie up the mystery that surrounds him.
If you want to read the true Roberto Bolaño, read Chris Andrews' amazing translations from New Directions...and why not start with Monsieur Pain? I guarantee you'll like it.