Monsieur Pain

Monsieur Pain

Book - 2010
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Cesar Vallejo, renowned Peruvian poet, lies dying in hospital he's hiccupping himself to death. When the doctors struggle to offer a diagnosis, his wife pins her hopes on the mesmerist and reclusive bachelor Pierre Pain. But after the appearance of two mysterious Spaniards, Monsieur Pain finds his access to the hospital barred and things soon go awry.
Publisher: ©2010
London :, Picador,, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9781509828784
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 133 pages ;,20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Andrews, Chris 1962-


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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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