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October 09 , 2008

The Skating Rink


A phenomenally unusual three-way murder mystery.

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With a murder at its heart, Roberto Bolaño’s The Skating Rink is, among other things, a crime novel. Murder seems to have exerted a fascination for the endlessly talented Bolaño, who in his last interview, according to The Observer, “declared, in all apparent seriousness, that what he would most like to have been was a homicide detective.”

Set in the seaside town of Z, north of Barcelona, The Skating Rink is told in short, suspenseful chapters by three male narrators, and revolves around a beautiful figure skating champion, Nuria Martí. A ruined mansion, knife-wielding women, political corruption, sex, and jealousy all appear in this atmospheric chronicle of a single summer season in a seaside town, with its vacationers, businessmen, immigrants, bureaucrats, social workers, and drifters.

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