Cover art for 2666

2666

7 ratings

Summary

National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 2009 Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño’s life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of Santa Teresa—a fictional Juárez—on the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers, in the novel as in life, have disappeared.

©2004 the heirs of Roberto Bolaño (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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The Savage Detectives

4 ratings

Summary

The late Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño has been called the García Marquez of his generation. The Savage Detectives is a hilarious and sexy, meandering and melancholy, companionable and complicated road trip through Mexico City, Barcelona, Israel, Liberia, and finally the desert of northern Mexico. It is the first of Bolaño's two giant works, with 2666, to be translated into English and is already being hailed as a masterpiece.

©2007 Translation by Natasha Wimmer (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Length: 26 hrs and 57 mins
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Cover art for Los detectives salvajes [The Wild Detectives]

Los detectives salvajes [The Wild Detectives]

2 ratings

Summary

Entre la narrativa detectivesca, la novela "de carretera", el relato biográfico y la crónica, Los detectives salvajes está considerada por la crítica y el público de todo el mundo como una de las mejores y más originales ficciones escritas en las últimas décadas.Uno de los mejores libros en español de los últimos 25 años según Babelia."Todo lo que comienza como comedia indefectiblemente acaba como misterio."Dos jóvenes poetas latinoamericanos, Arturo Belano y Ulises Lima, emprenden una aventura que transcurrirá durante varias décadas y cruzará distintos países. Símbolo de la rebeldía y la necesidad de ruptura con la realidad establecida, sus vidas representan los anhelos de toda una generación. La búsqueda en 1975 de la misteriosa escritora mexicana Cesárea Tinajero, desaparecida y olvidada en los años posteriores a la revolución, sirve de inicio a un viaje sin descanso marcado por el amor, la muerte, el deseo de libertad, el humor y la literatura.En esta novela está esbozado, como si de un juego de cajas chinas se tratara, todo el deslumbrante universo literario y personal de Roberto Bolaño.Los detectives salvajes fue ganadora de los premios Herralde y Rómulo Gallegos, y calificada por The New York Times, Los Angeles Times y The Washigton Post como una de las mejores novelas publicadas en 2007.Críticas:"Un carrusel de lenguaje y destreza narrativa que sin duda es lo mejor que se ha escrito en castellano en las últimas décadas."Iván Thays, Babelia"Bolaño ha probado que la literatura lo puede todo."Jonathan Lethem"Una especie de ebriedad narrativa que nos deja abrumados, sonriendo de obnubilación o de admiración."Fabrice Gabriel, Les Inrockuptibles"Una obra maestra."San Francisco Cronicle"Uno de los autores más respetados e influyentes de su generación [...]. Al mismo tiempo divertido y, en cierto sentido, intensamente aterrador."John Banville, The Nation"El mito de Bolaño ha servido para potencia el reconocimiento de una obra donde había originalidad, donde había calidad."Mario Vargas Llosa"Se convirtió en un cuentista y novelista central, quizás el más destacado de su generación, sin duda el más original y el más infrecuente."Jorge Edwards Please note: This audiobook is in Spanish.

©1998 Roberto Bolaño (P)2016 Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, S.A.U.

Available on Audible
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A Crime in the Neighborhood

1 rating

Summary

Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird, A Crime in the Neighborhood is the story of a young girl’s coming of age during a turbulent time in American history. Living in a quiet suburb of Washington, D.C., Marsha is nine years old in the summer of 1973. While the nation’s attention is focused on the breaking Watergate scandal, her quiet neighborhood is going through its own upheaval. Looking back as an adult, she remembers it as a time when her father’s abandonment of his family becomes entwined with the arrival of a new neighbor and the death of a boy who lives down the street. Deeply disillusioned by the changes in her life, Marsha takes it upon herself to find the boy’s murderer, which sets off a chain of tragic events. A poignant and startling novel, A Crime in the Neighborhood expertly shows what can happen when fear and suspicion gain control of a community’s better judgement.

©1997 Suzanne Berne (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC

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Distant Star

1 rating

Summary

A chilling novel about the nightmare of a corrupt and brutal dictatorship. The star of Roberto Bolano's hair-raising novel Distant Star is Alberto Ruiz-Tagle, an air force pilot who exploits the 1973 coup to launch his own version of the New Chilean Poetry, a multimedia enterprise involving sky-writing, poetry, torture, and photo exhibitions. For our unnamed narrator, who first encounters this "star" in a college poetry workshop, Ruiz-Tagle becomes the silent hand behind every evil act in the darkness of Pinochet's regime. The narrator, unable to stop himself, tries to track Ruiz-Tagle down, and sees signs of his activity over and over again. A corrosive, mocking humor sparkles within Bolano's darkest visions of Chile under Pinochet. In Bolano's world there's a big graveyard and there's a big graveyard laugh. (He once described his novel By Night in Chile as "a tale of terror, a situation comedy, and a combination pastoral-gothic novel.") Many Chilean authors have written about the "bloody events of the early Pinochet years, the abductions and murders," Richard Eder commented in The New York Times: "None has done it in so dark and glittering a fashion as Roberto Bolano."

©1996 Roberto Bolano and Editorial Anagrama, Translation copyright 2004 by Chris Andrews (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Walter Krochmal
Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins
Available on Audible
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The Spirit of Science Fiction

Summary

From a master of contemporary fiction, a tale of bohemian youth on the make in Mexico City. Two young poets, Jan and Remo, find themselves adrift in Mexico City. Obsessed with poetry and above all with science fiction, they are eager to forge a life in the literary world - or sacrifice themselves to it. Roberto Bolaño's The Spirit of Science Fiction is a story of youth hungry for revolution, notoriety, and sexual adventure as they work to construct a reality out of the fragments of their dreams. But as close as these friends are, the city tugs them in opposite directions. Jan withdraws from the world, shutting himself in their shared rooftop apartment where he feverishly composes fan letters to the stars of science fiction and dreams of cosmonauts and Nazis. Meanwhile, Remo runs headfirst into the future, spending his days and nights with a circle of wild young writers, seeking pleasure in the city's labyrinthine streets, rundown cafés, and murky bathhouses.   This kaleidoscopic work of strange and tender beauty is a fitting introduction for listeners uninitiated into the thrills of Roberto Bolaño's fiction and an indispensable addition to an ecstatic and transgressive body of work.

©2019 Roberto Bolaño (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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The Skating Rink

Summary

A phenomenally unusual three-way murder mystery. With a murder at its heart, Roberto Bolano’s The Skating Rink is, among other things, a crime novel. Murder seems to have exerted a fascination for the endlessly talented Bolano, who in his last interview, according to The Observer, "declared, in all apparent seriousness, that what he would most like to have been was a homicide detective." Set in the seaside town of Z, north of Barcelona, The Skating Rink is told in short, suspenseful chapters by three male narrators, and revolves around a beautiful figure skating champion, Nuria Mart. A ruined mansion, knife-wielding women, political corruption, sex, and jealousy all appear in this atmospheric chronicle of a single summer season in a seaside town, with its vacationers, businessmen, immigrants, bureaucrats, social workers, and drifters.

©1996 The Heirs of Roberto Bolano, Translation copyright 2009 by Chris Andrews (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
Available on Audible
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The Secret of Evil

Summary

A collection that gathers everything Bolano was working on before his untimely death. A North American journalist in Paris is woken at 4 a.m. by a mysterious caller with urgent information. For V. S. Naipaul the prevalence of sodomy in Argentina is a symptom of the nation’s political ills. Daniela de Montecristo (familiar to readers of Nazi Literature in the Americas and 2666) recounts the loss of her virginity. Arturo Belano returns to Mexico City and meets the last disciples of Ulises Lima, who play in a band called The Asshole of Morelos. Belano’s son Gernimo disappears in Berlin during the Days of Chaos in 2005. Memories of a return to the native land. Argentine writers as gangsters. Zombie schlock as allegory... The various pieces in the posthumous Secret of Evil extend the intricate, single web that is the work of Roberto Bolano.

©2007 The Heirs of Roberto Bolano, Copyright 2007 by Editorial Anagrama, Translation copyright 2012 by Chris Andrews, Translation copyright 2011 by Natasha Wimmer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Tony Plana
Length: 4 hrs and 15 mins
Available on Audible
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The Return

Summary

A stunning collection of short stories - mostly dealing with the sex trade - by the late Chilean master and author of The Savage Detectives. The Return contains thirteen unforgettable stories that seem to tell what Bolano called "the secret story," "the one we’ll never know." Bent on returning to haunt you, Bolano’s tales might concern the unexpected fate of a beautiful ex-girlfriend, or soccer, witchcraft, or a dream of meeting the poet Enrique Lihn: They always surprise. Consider the title story: A young partygoer collapses in a Parisian disco and dies on the dance floor. Just as his soul is departing his body, it realizes strange happenings are afoot around his now dead body - and what follows next defies the imagination (except Bolano’s own).

©1997, 2001 Roberto Bolano, Translation copyright 2010 by Chris Andrews (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Walter Krochmal
Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
Available on Audible
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The Insufferable Gaucho

Summary

A trove of strange, arresting, short masterworks - five stories and two essays - by Roberto Bolano, a writer who pulls bloodthirsty rabbits out of his hat. As Pankaj Mishra remarked in The Nation, one of the remarkable qualities of Bolano’s short stories is that they can do the "work of a novel." The Insufferable Gaucho contains tales bent on returning to haunt you. Unpredictable and daring, highly controlled yet somehow haywire, a Bolano story might concern an elusive plagiarist or an elderly lawyer giving up city life for an improbable return to the family estate, now gone to wrack and ruin. Bolano’s stories have been applauded as "bleakly luminous and perfectly calibrated, (Publishers Weekly) and "complex and provocative" (International Herald Tribune), and as Francine Prose said in The New York Times Book Review, "something extraordinarily beautiful and (at least to me) entirely new." Two fascinating essays are also included.

©2003 The Heirs of Roberto Bolano, Translation copyright 2010 by Chris Andrews (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: David Crommett
Length: 4 hrs and 18 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Nocturno de Chile [By Night in Chile]

Nocturno de Chile [By Night in Chile]

Summary

Nocturno de Chile relata una noche de agonía en la vida de Sebastián Urrutia, excusa para recorrer la historia de un país infernal «que no sabe muy bien si es un país o un paisaje». Sacerdote derechista, reconocido crítico literario, ignorado poeta, Sebastián Urrutia Lacroix se encuentra tendido en la cama una noche que parece ser su última en este mundo. El sudor, el delirio, la certeza de un final y su dolencia lo aquejan cruelmente. Pero más febril que su enfermedad es el alud de recuerdos, la avalancha incontenible de un pasado fantasmal de halcones adiestrados para cazar palomas, de lecciones de marxismo a un dictador en ciernes, de un artista abandonado a sí mismo en la inanición, de tertulias iluminadoras en una casa sumida en la herrumbre de la tortura.Interrumpido solamente por el «joven envejecido» de su consciencia, el monólogo de Urrutia se alza por encima de los muros de una ciudad hundida en el toque de queda. Please note: This audiobook is in Spanish.

©2000 Roberto Bolaño (P)2017 Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, S.A.U.

Narrator: Gerardo Prat
Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Last Evenings on Earth

Last Evenings on Earth

Summary

The first short-story collection in English by the acclaimed Chilean author Roberto Bolano. Winner of a 2005 PEN Translation Fund Award.  "The melancholy folklore of exile", as Roberto Bolano once put it, pervades these 14 haunting stories. Bolano's narrators are usually writers grappling with private (and generally unlucky) quests, who typically speak in the first person, as if giving a deposition, like witnesses to a crime. These protagonists tend to take detours and to narrate unresolved efforts. They are characters living in the margins, often coming to pieces, and sometimes, as in a nightmare, in constant flight from something horrid.  In the short story "Silva the Eye", Bolano writes in the opening sentence: "It's strange how things happen, Mauricio Silva, known as The Eye, always tried to escape violence, even at the risk of being considered a coward, but the violence, the real violence, can't be escaped, at least not by us, born in Latin America in the 1950s, those of us who were around 20 years old when Salvador Allende died."  Set in the Chilean exile diaspora of Latin America and Europe, and peopled by Bolano's beloved "failed generation", the stories of Last Evenings on Earth have appeared in The New Yorker and Grand Street. 

©1997, 2001 Roberto Bolano, 1997, 2001, Copyright Editorial Anagrama S.A., 1997, 2001, Translation copyright 2006 by Chris Andrews (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: David Crommett
Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Estrella distante [Distant Star]

Estrella distante [Distant Star]

Summary

El perenne detective salvaje Arturo Belano presenta al lector un retrato de Carlos Wieder, poeta y aviador, encarnación de la más profunda infamia. Alberto Ruiz-Tagle, fascinante y seductor poeta autodidacta habitual de los talleres literarios del Chile de Salvador Allende, y Carlos Wieder, piloto de las fuerzas aéreas chilenas que escribía versículos de la Biblia con el humo de una avioneta tras el golpe de estado de Pinochet: una y otra cara de la misma moneda, uno y el mismo oscuro personaje. Un individuo, encarnación pura del mal y la crueldad, que el narrador de esta historia, el alter ego de Bolaño y perenne detective salvaje Arturo Belano, se cuida de desmenuzar. Esfumado durante la transición democrática, el poeta y el investigador Abel Romero irán tras sus huellas y las de las desaparecidas hermanas Garmendia para hacer justicia al margen de la ley. La búsqueda conducirá sus pasos a ambos lados del Atlántico, de Chile y México a Barcelona y Blanes, hundiéndose en el más profundo vórtice de la infamia. Please note: This audiobook is in Spanish.

©1996 Roberto Bolaño / Todos los derechos reservados (P)2017 Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, S.A.U.

Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
Available on Audible
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Between Parenthesis

Summary

The essays of Roberto Bolano in English at last. Between Parentheses collects most of the newspaper columns and articles Bolano wrote during the last five years of his life, as well as the texts of some of his speeches and talks and a few scattered prologues. "Taken together," as the editor Ignacio Echevarra remarks in his introduction, they provide “a personal cartography of the writer: The closest thing, among all his writings, to a kind of fragmented 'autobiography.'" Bolano's career as a nonfiction writer began in 1998, the year he became famous overnight for The Savage Detectives; he was suddenly in demand for articles and speeches, and he took to this new vocation like a duck to water. Cantankerous, irreverent, and insufferably opinionated, Bolano also could be tender (about his family and favorite places) as well as a fierce advocate for his heroes (Borges, Cortzar, Parra) and his favorite contemporaries, whose books he read assiduously and promoted generously. A demanding critic, he declares that in his "ideal literary kitchen there lives a warrior": He argues for courage, and especially for bravery in the face of failure. Between Parentheses fully lives up to his own demands: "I ask for creativity from literary criticism, creativity at all levels."

©2004 The Heirs of Roberto Bolano, Copyright 2004 by Editorial Anagrama, Translation copyright 2011 by Natasha Wimmer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: David Crommett
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Antwerp

Antwerp

Summary

Bolaño’s radical first novel makes its audiobook debut as a New Directions Pearl. Written when he was only 27, Antwerp can be viewed as the Big Bang of Roberto Bolano’s fictional universe. This novel presents the genesis of Bolano’s enterprise in prose; all the elements are here, highly compressed, at the moment when his talent explodes. From this springboard—which Bolano chose to publish in 2002, 20 years after he’d written it (“and even that I can’t be certain of”)—as if testing out a high dive, he would plunge into the unexplored depths of the modern novel. Voices speak from a dream, from a nightmare, from passersby, from an omniscient narrator, from "Roberto Bolaño". Antwerp’s fractured narration in 54 sections moves in multiple directions and cuts to the bone.

©2002 Roberto Bolano, Translation copyright 2010 by Natasha Wimmer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: David Crommett
Length: 1 hr and 56 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Amulet

Amulet

Summary

A tour de force, Amulet is a highly charged first-person, semi-hallucinatory novel that embodies in one woman's voice the melancholy and violent recent history of Latin America. Amulet is a monologue, like Bolaño's acclaimed debut in English, By Night in Chile. The speaker is Auxilio Lacouture, a Uruguayan woman who moved to Mexico in the 1960s, becoming the "Mother of Mexican Poetry", hanging out with the young poets in the cafés and bars of the University. She's tall, thin, and blonde, and her favorite young poet in the 1970s is none other than Arturo Belano (Bolaño's fictional stand-in throughout his books). As well as her young poets, Auxilio recalls three remarkable women: the melancholic young philosopher Elena; the exiled Catalan painter Remedios Varo; and Lilian Serpas, a poet who once slept with Che Guevara. And in the course of her imaginary visit to the house of Remedios Varo, Auxilio sees an uncanny landscape, a kind of chasm. This chasm reappears in a vision at the end of the book: An army of children is marching toward it, singing as they go. The children are the idealistic young Latin Americans who came to maturity in the '70s, and the last words of the novel are: "And that song is our amulet."

©1999 the Heirs of Roberto Bolano, Translation copyright 2006 by Chris Andrews (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Adriana Sananes
Length: 4 hrs and 7 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for 2666 [Spanish Edition]

2666 [Spanish Edition]

Summary

Publicada meses después de la muerte de Bolaño, 2666 ha sido unánimemente aclamada por la crítica internacional y por los lectores, y es considerada una obra sin igual en la literatura contemporánea. La ciudad mexicana de Santa Teresa - trasunto de Ciudad Juarez - atrae como un imán a los protagonistas. Cuatro críticos literarios europeos viajan hasta Sonora tras las huellas del escritor desaparecido Benno von Archimboldi, cuya vida se refiere en la parte final de la novela. Allí conocerán a Amalfitano, el profesor universitario chileno que, junto con su hija, se establece en la ciudad, a la que también llegará el periodista estadounidense Oscar Fate para retransmitir un combate de boxeo. Pero el corazón del relato se encuentra en «La parte de los crímenes» donde, con la precisión de un bisturí, Bolaño narra los asesinatos de mujeres cometidos en Santa Teresa y las infructuosas investigaciones de la policía. En el epicentro del Mal, nada puede parar el horror.Con una fuerza arrolladora, en 2666 Bolaño crea una obra magistral que rompe con todas las tendencias literarias conocidas y abre el camino a seguir por la narrativa del siglo XXI. Violencia e historia se entretejen con temas recurrentes en la obra del autor: la literatura, la búsqueda y la crónica de la realidad. 2666 fue galardonada con los premios Ciudad de Barcelona, Salambó, National Critics Circle Award y Altazor, calificada como uno de los mejores libros de 2008 por The New York Times y elegida por 81 críticos y escritores de España y Latinoamérica como uno de los mejores libros en lengua castellana de los últimos 25 años. Please note: This audiobook is in Spanish.

©2004 Roberto Bolaño (P)2017 Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, S.A.U.

Available on Audible