Begun in the 1980s and worked on until the author's death in 2003, The Woes of the True Policeman is Roberto Bolaño's last, unfinished novel. The novel follows Amalfitano--an exiled Chilean university professor and widower with a teenage daughter--as his political disillusionment and love of poetry lead to the scandal that will force him to flee from Barcelona and take him to Santa Teresa, Mexico. This border town is haunted by dark tales of murdered women and populated by characters such as Sorcha, who fought in the Andalusia Blue Division in the Spanish Civil War, and Castillo, who makes his living selling his forgeries of Larry Rivers paintings to wealthy Texans. It is here that Amalfitano meets Arcimboldi, a magician and writer whose work highlights the provisional and fragile nature of literature and life. Woes of the True Policeman is an exciting, kaleidoscopic novel, lyrical and intense, yet darkly humorous. Exploring the roots of memory and the limits of art, it marks the culmination of one of the great careers of world literature.
A masterwork from the pre-eminent Latin American writer of his generation On vacation with his girlfriend, Ingeborg, the German war-game champion, Udo Berger, returns to a small town on the Costa Brava where he spent the summers of his childhood. Soon they meet another vacationing German couple, Charly and Hanna, who introduce them to a band of locals--the Wolf, the Lamb, and El Quemado--and to the darker side of life in a resort town. Late one night, Charly disappears without a trace, and Udo's well-ordered life is thrown into upheaval. Although Ingeborg and Hanna return to their lives in Germany, Udo refuses to leave the hotel. Soon he and El Quemado are enmeshed in a round of Third Reich, Udo's favourite World War II strategy game, and he discovers that the game's consequences may be all too real. Written in 1989 and found among Roberto Bolaño's papers after his death, The Third Reich is a stunning exploration of memory and violence. Reading this quick, visceral novel, we see a world-class writer coming into his own--and exploring for the first time the themes that would define his masterpieces The Savage Detectives and 2666.