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Cowboy Graves Reviews

Cowboy Graves by Roberto Bolano, Natasha Wimmer

Cowboy Graves: Three Novellas

Roberto Bolano, Natasha Wimmer

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Penguin Press
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication date: 16 Feb 2021
ISBN: 9780735222885

One more journey to the universe of Roberto Bolaño, an essential voice of contemporary Latin American literature

  • The ObserverBook of the Day
3 stars out of 5
9 Feb 2021

"Cowboy Graves is a minor chamber in the labyrinth of Bolaño’s fiction, but it’s one with many doors."

To an extent, the value and interest of Cowboy Graves depend on a prior familiarity with the sprawling, hyperlinked metaverse of Bolaño’s fiction. Taken on its own, the first, titular story would feel rather slight; the fact that it’s narrated by Arturo Belano, Bolaño’s alter ego from The Savage Detectivesand elsewhere, significantly warms up the atmosphere... Characters, fictional cities and real-life poets recognisable from other novels flicker briefly into sight and then vanish. Cowboy Graves is a minor chamber in the labyrinth of Bolaño’s fiction, but it’s one with many doors.


4 stars out of 5
Stuart Kelly
1 May 2021

"[The novellas] enter the subconscious as deeply as Bolaño’s larger works"

These infernal, internal references are infuriatingly tantalising, especially if, like me, you want a solution and are terrified this is a Latin American Voynich Manuscript, and the secret is that there is no secret. The eponymous first part is a disjointed Bildungs-roman, and although the jacket flap mentions a return to the Chilean revolution, that is the least and most bathetic part of it.