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Monsieur Pain by Roberto Bolaño

Monsieur Pain (edition 2011)

by Roberto Bolaño (Author)

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3231534,306 (3.38)18
Title:Monsieur Pain
Authors:Roberto Bolaño (Author)
Info:Picador (2011), Edition: Export ed, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Read

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Monsieur Pain by Roberto Bolaño



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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Some say this is not worth reading if you're just getting into Bolano, but I strongly disagree. There's a lot to like about this excursion into detective fiction by the man who brought us '2666'. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
Roberto Bolaño's homage to Poe, perhaps "The Purloined Letter" because of the Parisian setting (which naturally affects the meaning of the title) might most enjoyably be read by those who are already Bolaño devotees. His long, delicately turning sentences (in translation at any rate) and the peculiar sense of distance between narrator and narrated are here for those of us who have already read his major novels, The Savage Detectives and 2666 and some shorter works, and so know what memorable experiences he can deliver; here the pleasure resides in the reading, with little lingering in the mind afterwards. But pleasurable reading is not a small achievement.
  V.V.Harding | Apr 21, 2015 |
While I started out liking this novella a lot, as it disintegrated into the surreal and disconnected my interest started to disintegrate as well. It tells the story of Pierre Pain, a mesmerist engaged to help cure a poet of a fatal case of the hiccups. His efforts are blocked by two mysterious Spaniards. Monsieur Pain gets drawn into an increasingly dreamy world with a montage-like feel of dram, film, and auditory hallucination. At some point I simply stopped following exactly what was happening. That said, it remains interesting -- just not as mesmerizing, so to speak, as the first 70 or so pages. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
A very strange little novel, weighing in at just 132 pages. It's a kind of noirish, dreamscape of a conspiracy thriller. The plot, for what it is, concerns the titular character as a doctor who uses alternative methods to treat his patients. He is requested to take the case of César Vallejo, whose own doctors are unable to diagnose his condition or stop his hiccuping either of which could lead to death. Unable to gain access to his patient on his first attempt he tries again only to be baulked by two mysterious Spanish gentlemen who offer a bribe not to treat him. Pain accepts this but later feels guilty and tries to see Vallejo again. Can he get through this time?

Several encounters with old acquaintances add depth to the main character but some of these leave you wondering if what happened was real or not. It creates quite a foreboding atmosphere but the lack of an overriding plot really hinders my enjoyment of this read as you do get the feeling that there should be something there but I just couldn't grasp it. Perhaps it requires multiple readings to gain an understanding but I doubt I'll go back and try. I haven't given up on the author yet as there is still enough here to tempt me to more of his work but probably not this one again. ( )
  AHS-Wolfy | Sep 25, 2012 |
I decided to read Monsieur Pain, one of Roberto Bolaño's novellas, before investing time in one of his doorstop-size novels, and am glad that I did—if only because doing so saved me a big chunk of my life. There were flashes of insight and interesting imagery in Monsieur Pain, and the setting—Paris in the late 1930s, a grey city where it rains perpetually—is striking. However, as a whole this reads like a self-indulgent writing school exercise, a confusing mess that manages neither to be the quasi-paranormal noir thriller it promises to be at the outset, nor the character study of an unbalanced mind that it later turns into. A resounding 'meh' from me. ( )
  siriaeve | Aug 13, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roberto Bolañoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andrews, ChrisTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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P. Does the idea of death afflict you?
V. (Very quickly.) No-no!
P. Are you pleased with the prospect?
V. If I were awake I should like to die, but now it is
no matter. The mesmeric condition is so near death as to
content me.
P. I wish you would explain yourself, Mr Vankirk.
V. I am willing to do so, but it requires more effort than
I feel able to make. You do not question me properly.
P. What then should I ask?
V. You must begin at the beginning.
P. The beginning! But where is the beginning?

"Mesmeric Revelation"
Edgar Allan Poe
for Carolina López
First words
On Wednesday the sixth of April, at dusk, as I was preparing to leave my lodgings, I received a telegram from my young friend Madame Reynaud, requesting, with a certain urgency, my presence that evening at the Café Bordeaux, on the Rue de Rivoli, relatively close to where I live, which meant that if I hurried, I could still arrive punctually at the specified time.
I slept well and soundly, and if I dreamed, I also had the good sense to forget my dreams.
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Occult sciences, Cesar Vallejo, WWII, hopeless love, and a final 'Epilogue for Voices' : Monsieur Pain is a hallucinatory masterwork by the great Roberto Bolano. Paris, 1938. The Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo is in the hospital, afflicted with an undiagnosed illness, and unable to stop hiccuping. His wife calls on an acquaintance of her friend Madame Reynaud: the Mesmerist Pierre Pain. Pain, a timid bachelor, is in love with the widow Reynaud, and agrees to help. But two mysterious Spanish men follow Pain and bribe him not to treat Vallejo, and Pain takes the money. Ravaged by guilt and anxiety, however, he does not intend to abandon his new patient, but then Pain's access to the hospital is barred and Madame Reynaud leaves Paris.. Another practioner of the occult sciences enters the story (working for Franco, using his Mesmeric expertise to interrogate prisoners) - as do Mme. Curie, tarot cards, an assassination, and nightmares. Meanwhile, Monsieur Pain, haunted and guilty, wanders the crepuscular, rainy streets of Paris... .… (more)

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