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The Third Reich

About the Book

The Third Reich

Reinterpreting the legacy of the Latin American literary boom, Roberto Bolaño’s prizewinning fiction balances hilarity with provocative explorations of the human psyche. His most substantial works have only recently become available in English; his epic novel 2666 won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2008, five years after the author’s death at age fifty.

The Third Reich showcases an early achievement by this stunningly gifted writer. Written in 1989 and found among Bolaño’s papers after his death, this is the story of a German war-games champion named Udo who meets his match while vacationing on Spain’s Costa Brava. Returning to the Hotel Del Mar, where he spent the summers of his childhood, Udo is accompanied by his beloved Ingeborg. It’s the couple’s first holiday together, but his greater obsession is Third Reich, his favorite World War II strategy game. At a bar one night, Udo is introduced to a severely disfigured local known as El Quemado, who later becomes his Third Reich opponent. But El Quemado seems to think that the game is a very real projection of his life --- and a means to push Udo to the brink of insanity. When Charly, another German vacationer, vanishes without a trace, Udo suspects that El Quemado is involved. Ingeborg eventually returns to Germany alone while Udo extends his stay; he’s drawn to the Del Mar’s beautiful proprietor, Frau Else, whose dying husband may hold the key to El Quemado’s mysterious quest. As the Allies close in on Udo, he realizes that he’s poised to lose much more than a game.

The questions and discussion topics that follow are designed to enhance your reading of Roberto Bolaño’s The Third Reich. We hope they will enrich your experience as you explore this literary treasure.

The Third Reich
by Roberto Bolano

  • Publication Date: November 27, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Picador
  • ISBN-10: 1250013933
  • ISBN-13: 9781250013934