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by Roberto Bolano
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What you need to read, what you might want to, and what you can pass over without losing sleep.
With a new title appearing practically every quarter, where should a Bolañophile turn first?
Traditionally Spanish publishers stuff their books with introductions and notes. You have to skip the fifty pages of critical essays to read the twelve pages of poems. Although I don't think this novel needs all of that, an answer key, a cheat sheet, what in Argentina they call a machete, might do.
To help acclimate newcomers to this odd and essential author; to continue mapping the Bolañoverse, as Malcolm Cowley mapped Yoknapatawpha; and to impose some order on the flood of Bolaño releases, The Millions offers a syllabus.