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Monsieur Pain
Roberto Bolano
Adult Fiction BOLANO

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Summary: Paris, 1938. The Peruvian poet César Vallejo is in the hospital, afflicted with an undiagnosed illness, and unable to stop hiccuping. His wife calls on an acquaintance of her friend Madame Reynaud: the Mesmerist Pierre Pain. Pain, a timid bachelor, is in love with the widow Reynaud, and agrees to help. But two mysterious Spanish men follow Pain and bribe him not to treat Vallejo, and Pain takes the money. Ravaged by guilt and anxiety, however, he does not intend to abandon his new patient, but then Pain's access to the hospital is barred and Madame Reynaud leaves Paris.... Another practioner of the occult sciences enters the story (working for Franco, using his Mesmeric expertise to interrogate prisoners)--as do Mme. Curie, tarot cards, an assassination, and nightmares. Meanwhile, Monsieur Pain, haunted and guilty, wanders the crepuscular, rainy streets of Paris...

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main characters Cesar Vallejo
Undiagnosed illness; unable to stop hiccuping.

Pierre Pain
Age: 48
Mesmerist; timid bachelor; in love with the widow Reynaud; bribed not to treat Vallejo; access to the hospital is barred; guilty; haunted; anxious; wanders the street of Paris.

Marcelle Reynaud
Friend of Cesar's wife; asks Pain to treat her friends husband leaves Paris.

Mesmerist; practioner of the occult sciences; uses expertise to interrogate prisoners.

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