Roberto Bolaño's The Return is a dark and twisted collection of stories. . .great, but definitely twisted.
Once again New Directions gives us a Chris Andrews' translation of the Chilean novelist.
These stories are some of the darkest I've read by Bolaño. They include themes of murder, pornography, prison camps, prostitutes, politics, ghosts, soccer, necrophilia, and other haunting themes. They are Bolaño's short stories, so they're both easy to read and highly insightful as to his idea of "the secret story." Here is an excerpt of Stacy D'Erasmo's interview in The New York Times Book Review:
"That's what art is, he said, the story of a life in all its particularity. It's the only thing that really is particular and personal. It's the expression and, at the same time, the fabric of the particular. And what do you mean by the fabric of the particular? I asked, supposing he would answer: Art. I was also thinking, indulgently, that we were pretty drunk already and that it was time to go home. But my friend said, "What I mean is the secret story.... The secret story is the one we'll never know, although we're living it from day to day, thinking we're alive, thinking we've got it all under control and the stuff we overlook doesn't matter. But every damn thing matters! It's just that we don't realize. We tell ourselves that art runs on one track and life, our lives, on another, we don't even realize that's a lie."