Ben Richards finds wit and compassion beneath a darkly satiric vision of the literary world in Roberto Bolano's Last Evenings on Earth and. Fitted between these pairs is Last Evenings on Earth, a minor yet compelling book of short stories compiled from two collections published in Spanish. Roberto Bolano's story collection Last Evenings on Earth was acclaimed by Francine Prose in The New York Times Book Review as “something extraordinarily.


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She's checking to see if I have a weapon, thinks B. The tension builds toward a climactic showdown, like a downed high-voltage wire sparking and last evenings on earth in a black night before striking the fatal contact.


Usually the point of view is presented through a first person narrator, or B. In "Anne Moore's Life" we follow the peripatetic adventures of Anne from birth in Chicago to middle age in Berkeley, her serial sexual affairs in the U. He reads her 34 notebooks, diaries last evenings on earth a wandering, aimless existence that we have been privy to up to this point through the narrator, who now takes over as storyteller: It is up to the reader to draw the conclusions.

At the core of the story "Sensini" are the horrors of murder and torture in Argentina under the military regime, but the surface quietly establishes a deep epistolary friendship between the narrator and an Argentinean writer in exile, who encourages him to pursue the prize money at stake in literary competitions.

last evenings on earth

The darkly tragic tone remains the dominant one throughout the story. Last evenings on earth a poignant scene last evenings on earth the narrator and Sensini's daughter in the last two pages, however, it suddenly switches back to the short story competitions both writers were engaged in, and takes on a humorous tone, which in turn brings the daughter and narrator close together.

He also undercuts the obvious accusation of literary solipsism with sly humour, self-mockery and a wicked eye for pomposity.

Last Evenings on Earth by Roberto Bolaño

At one point in the novel, Lima joins a solidarity delegation of Mexican poets to Nicaragua, and Bolano gleefully sends up the often absurd nature of these occasions. He is extremely clever at switching mood and tone, so that even the comedy is interspersed with hints of catastrophe and loss.

Bolano is both aware of last evenings on earth indulgent towards the futility of poetic rebellion, which is why so many of his characters carry a sense of doom with them. But he also succeeds in injecting his lost and wandering poets with nobility and pathos. Last evenings on earth arrives in many vehicles; through nonsense, through endurance, through literary preening.


It is the last evenings on earth of literature and life in which Bolano participated so fully until his own untimely death four years ago. But all the stories here are well worth your time and thought, and curated as they are in this collection, give the feeling of a very moving, strongly unified whole.


The girl replies that she was dreaming about her mother, who died not long ago. The first story in the collection, "Sensini," can be considered typical of the work as a whole. The last evenings on earth narrator recounts a period during the early days of his writing career.

Poets, pimps and prostitutes

When he places in a Spanish literary competition, he notices on the list of runners-up his favorite author from the overlooked generation last evenings on earth Argentine authors that bridged the time between those pillars Cortazar and Puig.

When Sensini moves back to Argentina, the two stop writing each other. After Sensini dies, his daughter Miranda visits the narrator.