The Skating Rink: Book summary and reviews of The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano

The Skating Rink

By Roberto Bolano

The Skating Rink
  • Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Aug 2009,
    208 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

A hair-raising book that delivers Bolaño's signature mix of mordant wit and romantic tenderness, The Skating Rink is both a crime and a love story. The story starts off with Gaspar Heredia — writer, Mexican, illegal immigrant, and stand-in for Bolaño himself —who meets Remo Moran, a businessman who pulled himself up to wealth from his inauspicious beginnings as a stall vendor of cheap tourist souvenirs.

Moran hires Heredia as night watchman for a campground Moran runs as a stopping ground for many illegal immigrants. Heredia, out of boredom, starts spying on Moran’s odd friends and accidentally stumbles across a skating rink built by a corrupt civil servant — Enric Rosquelles: pompous, fat, squat and ugly — who has diverted public funds to secretly build the rink on behalf of the love of his life: María, a young blonde babe whose abiding passion is to make it onto the Spanish Olympic ice-skating team and who, unbeknownst to Enric, is having a fling with Remo Moran, our successful businessman risen from cheap souvenirs. Alas, the discovery of Enric's crimes leads to madcap blackmail, more crime, sex, intrigue — and murder. Told in rotating narratives of the three men whose actions revolve around the young blonde skating babe and her dim-witted but strong-willed manipulations.

Set in the imaginary resort town of Z, north of Barcelona, Spain.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Bolaño’s strategy works magnificently to de-center the reader and push her toward the search, but the belated nature of much of the story means that The Skating Rink can seem a little diffuse on the first reading. True, the fog is purposeful, and true again, there is something very rewarding to seeing this book take on a second skin as few books can upon re-reading, but there is something to be said for a book’s first impression, and in The Skating Rink that first impression is often one of effervescence. It’s hard to fault Bolaño, because all the information is indeed right there, and yet the book is so constructed that I cannot imagine the reader who would get it all on the first pass." - The Quarterly Conversation

"Each chapter of Roberto Bolaño's The Skating Rink ends in an ellipsis, a brief gap in the proceedings that allows the reader a moment to consider the key question at the heart of this short, lively novel: Where does one's perception of events intersect with the way things actually happened?" - San Francisco Chronicle

"Bolaño's humble fiction doesn’t pretend to know all, or any, of the answers. His elliptical modus operandi can be tantalizing, and at times almost unbearable. The more you read him, however, the more you come to savor the welts and infelicities, the gaping narrative holes and peculiar detours: you realise that Bolaño is turning you into a new kind of reader." - The National (Abu-Dhabi)

The information about The Skating Rink shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Roberto Bolano Author Biography

Roberto Bolaño was born in Chile on April 28, 1953.  For much of his life he lived a nomadic existence, living in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain. During the 1970s, he formed an avant-garde group called infrarealism with other writers and poets in Mexico where he lived after leaving Chile when it fell under military dictatorship. He returned to Chile in 1972 but left again the next year when General Augusto Pinochet came to power.

In the early eighties, he finally settled in the small town of Blanes, near Gerona in Northern Spain, where he died on July 15, 2003 of liver disease while awaiting a transplant.  He is survived by his Spanish wife and his son and daughter. 

Bolaño received some of the Hispanic world's highest literary ...

... Full Biography

Name Pronunciation
Roberto Bolano: roh-bAIR-toh bo-LAR-neo

Other books by Roberto Bolano at BookBrowse
  • The Savage Detectives jacket

5 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

More Recently Published Novels

more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...
  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin
  2.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois

All Discussions

Who Said...

Books are the carriers of civilization

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.