A life in 118 pages. In Roberto Bolano’s “By Night In Chile” Father Urrutia recounts his life story with a torrent of anecdotes from atop his final mattress. Bolano shoves the reader into Urrutia’s stream of consciousness rant. The result is much like life itself, a compacted ball of terrible beauty and divine horror. The mistakes of youth ebb into the bold missteps of early adulthood to be punctuated by the solitude of age. No grand tragedy befalls Father Urrutia, no great mystery arises. “By Night” meditates on life in the Chile but the themes explored are universal. Bolano’s craftsmanship emerges in his effort to keep Urruita ordinary. Despite the interwoven landscape of Chile’s political wastelands, the comings and going of generals and marxists alike, Father Urrutia appears quite plain. It was not until the final pages of “By Night” that I knew the Father’s fate was the same as mine. Some day soon, I will live my life in the past tense. The seasons of life unfold at a brisk pace. 118 pages to be born, to live, to love, to create, and to die.