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Possibly my favorite Bolano, which is saying something because I'm obsessed with him (RIP, Bob). This is one of the most atmospheric books I've ever read, by which I mean that while you read it an almost tangible layer of salt coats the air like his words have created weight around you, of their own volition, without you realizing it. It's got flavor. Includes: murder, mystery, war games, lust, and the beach.
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
On vacation with his girlfriend, Ingeborg, the German war-game champion Udo Berger returns to a small town on the Costa Brava where he spent his summers as a child. There, they meet another vacationing German couple, who introduce them to the darker side of the resort town's life. Soon Udo is enmeshed in a round of the Third Reich, his favorite World War II strategy game, with a shadowy local called El Quemado. As the game draws to its conclusion, Udo discovers that the outcome may be all too real.
Written in 1989, The Third Reich is Roberto Bolano's stunning exploration of memory and violence---and a rare glimpse at a world-class writer coming into his own.
"A mesmerizing tale: sleek, linear, easily digested, beautifully translated…classic Bolaño."---The Washington Post"A beguiling introduction to Bolaño…The Third Reich is giddily funny, but it is also prickly and bizarre enough to count among Bolaño’s first-rate efforts."---The Economist"A perfect novel…Compassionate, disturbing, and deeply felt, it’s as much of a gift as anything the late author has given us."---NPR
"Think Kafka at a beach resort…For those who like their literature to make them look with fear and suspicion at even the most mundane events, The Third Reich is calling."---The Cleveland Plain Dealer"Bolaño is a master of atmosphere...in the tradition of Georges Simenon’s gloomy romans durs...or the tightly controlled hallucinations of Alain Robbe-Grillet."---The Wall Street Journal"A brilliant first novel…all the more remarkable for its prescience."---The New Republic