I chose this book as one of my bookclubs was reading off of Goodreads Latin American shelf for the month of September. I had a list of books that looked interesting, some from Isabel Allende, and in retrospect, I should have stuck with the list. Unfortunately, this book caught my eye on the new books shelf at the library. The premise of the book sounded good....a story about a famous (or infamous) mystic in France in the mid 1930's and his bid to help a Spanish poet who was being stalked by a mysterious group. In addition, it was an Historical Fiction book, which is my favorite genre, and was packed with characters from history such as Madame Curie, the poet (Vallejo), Monsieur Pain ( an actual French mesmerist) and many others. Unfortunately, the book fell way short. What could have been an interesting story turned out to be the disjointed ramblings of Monsieur Pain. While Bolano's writing was good in some aspects, especially his descriptions, there was no cohesive story line, and the pages of the book just seemed to ramble on uninterestingly. I know a lot of people think Bolano is a brilliant writer, but for me he fell way short of the mark. His short moments of brilliance were way overshadowed by the inane ramblings of his main character.