The Third Reich

The Third Reich
Roberto Bolano
Reviewed by Sheila Wright
Macmillan
Fri, 06/01/2012
9780330510547
£18.99

The Third Reich explores a descent from order into chaos.  

Newly crowned German Wargames Champion, Udo Berger, leads a well ordered life. While on holiday on the Costa Brava with his girlfriend Ingeborg they befriend another German couple, Charly and Hanna. One night Charly vanishes creating a situation Udo is unable to control; his life starts to fall apart and he suffers hallucinatory dreams that take him to the verge of madness.  

Attempting to regain control he begins a game of ‘Third Reich’ with El Quemado, a foreigner who lives on the beach, but the unexpected progress of the game leads to increased paranoia. This is a slow paced, atmospheric novel with an increasing sense of menace. Not an easy read, but well worth the effort.

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