Cowboy Graves: A Review

9 Mar

For the Uncensored

Robert Bolano is a figure that many writers often look to, and I hold as one of the greatest Chilean writers of his day, but like many writers, Bolano started off as a poet, and he became a writer to pay the bills for his family. Robert Bolano was born in Chile 1953 and passed away in Spain in 2003. The power of reading a writer, and all his work is realizing what is good or not. But I never mount that type of hype on a writer that aims to do something different every time. There’s so many great works by Bolano, which to me, is 2666, A Little Lumpen Novella, Nazi Literature in America, The Savage Detectives, The Third Reich, The Romantic Dogs, are all great works of Bolano that I hold dear. But there’s something clear when a publisher starts to release the writer’s posthumous work. It’s the work that Bolano never got to publish during his lifetime, and publishers don’t usually publish a writer in his entirety unless there’s profit to earn. Much of a writer’s life is built in secrecy and much of Bolano’s life is probably more myth than fact.

            It seemed like poverty forced Bolano to write fiction, but Cowboy Graves, three novellas, proves when a writer is trying less complicated versions of his stories, in novellas, to achieve the same goals a longer novel would then create. Atmosphere and mood are sacrificed in novellas to attain a purity of the plot. “Cowboy Graves” shows an example of how a character is looking for his father, but in that amount of time, he’s just moving from place to place, until he meets communists. And when asks what a communists “looks like,” they provide an answer. It seems that Bolano is full well of what fascism means, and honestly, when Europeans speak of fascism, they honestly hide the fact about the different branches of fascism too, and where socialism comes into play. 

            But there’s a line that does speak to me out of the whole novella. “What use is a gun if it’s not loaded.”

            I think the way this line is a reminder of being in danger, and being unloaded makes you think about the uselessness of a gun when it’s not loaded. Bolano is gifted with normal everyday perceptions that remind of me of Don Delillo. Simple, yet elegant, and deadly. So, I think Cowboy Graves, the first novella, is the major stand out between French Comedy of Horrors, and Fatherland. The last two novellas. Fatherland does remind me of a simpler version of the Third Reich.

            Then for some odd reason the book seems to be almost delving into itself, as there no rising arc or consequence to any of the characters actions throughout the book. No one learns anything. In the afterward, explains that for “Bolano it’s always about the journey rather than the conclusion.”

            Sometimes Bolano stories are a yarn that’s immediately cut off when it was just getting good. But the journey is re-reading it again, and you could almost deny his writing as being too subtle, but you have to pay attention to it in order to get the finer points. Sometimes it can be mystifying, but in Buddhism, the journey is what’s important. Maybe there is more left to Bolano’s career that has yet to be published still.

            Final Verdict: 3/5

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Note from Louis: Thanks so much for reading my articles and being such a constant reader, and listening to my podcasts. I usually write two to three articles a day during the week, but one to two on the weekends. Also, if you haven’t already, please subscribe, donate, like my articles and comment, buy my books, leave a review. Sharing the articles and podcasts helps above all, too. All help is appreciated.

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