As Pankaj Mishra remarked in The Nation, one of the remarkable qualities of Bolaño’s short stories is that they can do the “work of a novel.” The Return contains thirteen unforgettable stories bent on returning to haunt you. Wide-ranging, suggestive, and daring, a Bolaño story might concern the unexpected fate of a beautiful ex-girlfriend or a dream of meeting Enrique Lihn: his plots go anywhere and everywhere and they always surprise. Consider the title piece: a young party animal collapses in a Parisian disco and dies on the dance floor; just as his soul is departing his body, it realizes strange doings are afoot––and what follows next defies the imagination (except Bolaño’s own).
Each tale turns the reader into a voyeur, grasping at snapshots of troubled lives and ghosts.
Although the thirteen stories that make up Roberto Bolaño’s newly translated collection percolate with brooding darkness, they also bubble with a surprising luminosity … each richer and more resonant than the last.
—Time Out New York
The sense of embattlement that animates the writing, and the scab-picking intensity that he brings to his obsessions, makes The Return a compelling encapsulation of Bolaño’s work.
—Los Angeles Times
Genius: This new collection of thirteen stories proves to be a defining sampler of Bolaño’s style, thematic concerns and favored character types.
Dark, intimate, and sneakily touching: there is gold to be found in this collection.