Monsieur Pain

Monsieur Pain

Book - 2010
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After he accepts a bribe not to treat chronically hiccupping Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo, mesmerist Monsieur Pierre Pain is racked with guilt but is barred from the hospital when he tries to do the right thing, only to discover a rival mesmerist has entered the picture, along with an assassination and a host of other nightmares
Publisher: New York : New Directions, 2010.
ISBN: 9780811217149
0811217140
Branch Call Number: FIC BOLANO, ROBERTO
Characteristics: ix, 134 p. ; 21 cm.

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bibliofinn
Jun 21, 2010

In this very short early novel by Bolaño, the title character has coped with his near-destruction in the holocaust of Verdun by retreating into the study of mesmerism. But when he agrees to treat a Chilean poet's hiccups, he finds that the world he thought he had escaped is once more reaching its tentacles into his life. Paris in 1938 is evoked as a dreamlike world of clammy dread. Fascists and surrealists alike bedevil M. Pain, who is completely ineffectual but nevertheless retains a strange dignity. Sometimes I found the writing a little repetitive and the situations predictably bizarre, but there's no denying the hypnotic power of the narrative.

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