The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano

The only reason I read this book was thanks to this brilliant blog about Alcohol Aspirations, by my friend Len. I got the book for £3 in Fopp on an impulse, and found it one of those really easy reads that you soon find yourself itching to pick up again. What I really loved about it, was it's unconscious campness. I know nothing about Bolano other than I read his name occasionally referenced as someone arty, credible, critically acclaimed. It struck me half way through that all the narrators are male - and yet all the strongest voices and characters, those who drive the plot, strike chords and shine - are female. They are so strongly painted they don't even need their own voices, as the drivelling, confused, sycophantic and insecure male perspectives do all the work for them. It's not the kind of book that will change you life, but it's a nice distraction. I should probably text Len now and see if he's free for a drink...