February 13, 2012

Literary Pick (***)

Amulet
-Roberto Bolaño















I finally understand why I continue reading Bolano's works although I have not loved all of his novels. The reason being is that he is the only writer up to date, whom I've had the pleasure of reading who is so diverse in his ideas. Sure, there's an underlying "style" to his work, but it's so subtle and humble. There are many authors I have enjoyed reading, yet, I'm almost always hesitant to read all of their works because I know I will have similar experiences, read the same ideas with slightly different twists. Sure, Bolano has this theme about writers and poets and the underground of Latin America, but he gives you new material all the time, even if it's not 100% gratifying, you can walk away appreciative for his work and what you've experienced. Bolano was someone who was very thoughtful and profound. You can tell by reading a few of his books, like Savage Detectives, 2666, and Last Evenings on Earth. There's something about his mind that is the real deal. When you read his books, you know you're reading a writers writer. 
Amulet is the story of a woman, Auxilio Lacouture, (the mother of Mexican poetry) who for 12 days hides in the restroom of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma in Mexico City (UNAM) during the army's 1968 invasion. During her ordeal she recounts stories of the underground world of poets in seedy bars and neighborhoods. Not much is offered in terms of details of the actual invasion itself. It's really about Auxilio depending on her memory of these events to survive. I liked when she encountered (hallucinated) her guardian angel, and offered a list of prophecies. I also liked the reference to the Chilean Rugby team survivors of the Andes, since I have been so deeply inspired by their story of survival for so many years. Although I only give this book 3 stars, I still look forward to reading more Bolano. He has a knack and style I am deeply attracted to.

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