César Vallejo, renowned Peruvian poet, lies dying in hospital – he’s hiccupping himself to death. When the doctors struggle to offer a diagnosis, his wife pins her hopes on the mesmerist and reclusive bachelor Pierre Pain. But after the appearance of two mysterious Spaniards, Monsieur Pain finds his access to the hospital barred and things soon go awry . . .
Set in the rainy, crepuscular streets of an unsettled 1938 Paris, Roberto Bolaño's Monsieur Pain merges the best of Borges with Edgar Allan Poe, and its dark blend of unrequited desire, guilt, grief and betrayal makes this a gripping noir conspiracy as rich as it is strange.