In his final interview, Roberto Bolaño says, "I would like to have been a homicide detective, much more than a writer... I'd have been someone who could come back to the scene of the crime, alone by night..."
This "aloneness," this perfect solitude, is very much at the core of The Defectors, a book of odd and uncanny episodes about people trying to "defect" from reality. There is a secret policeman in 80s communist Prague who becomes obsessed with a fiercely independent female detective novelist. There is a Buddhist psychotherapist who travels around Amerika offering the "talking cure" in a Volkswagen Beetle. There is an adjunct professor in Russian émigré Brooklyn who quits his job to build a Golem made of stainless steel.
As the book progresses, the episodes become increasingly experimental. Ultimately, like particles in a supercollider, they get smashed together and fly apart. And we get a brief glimpse of something new, some never-before-seen particle, a cosmic thought.