The editors of the Book Review have selected these titles from the list of 100 Notable Books of 2008.
By Roberto Bolaño. Translated by Natasha Wimmer.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, cloth and paper, $30.
Bolaño, the prodigious Chilean writer who died at age 50 in 2003, has posthumously risen, like a figure in one of his own splendid creations, to the summit of modern fiction. This latest work, first published in Spanish in 2004, is a mega- and meta-detective novel with strong hints of apocalyptic foreboding. It contains five separate narratives, each pursuing a different story with a cast of beguiling characters — European literary scholars, an African-American journalist and more — whose lives converge in a Mexican border town where hundreds of young women have been brutally murdered. (Excerpt)
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