The Insufferable Gaucho
Translated by Chris Andrews
Roberto Bolaño burst onto the scene with The Savage Detectives, and his posthumous masterpiece 2666 confirmed his place as a giant of Latin American literature. The Insufferable Gaucho was the last book he prepared for publication before he died in 2003.
Unpredictable and daring, highly controlled and yet somehow haywire, the five short stories included here are some of Bolaño’s best. Whether they concern a stalwart rodent detective trying to investigate the mysterious deaths of his fellow rats, an elderly judge giving up his job in the city for an improbable return to the family farm in the pampas, or a confrontation between an elusive film-maker and the little-known Argentinian novelist whose work he’s plagiarized for years they are as haunting as they are enthralling.
In addition, The Insufferable Gaucho offers, for the first time in English, two essays by Roberto Bolaño: ‘Literature + Illness = Illness’ and ‘The Myths of Cthulhu’. Provocative and often scathing, Bolaño’s essays are alive with his trademark humour, violence and utter faith in the power of the written word. Roberto Bolaño is undoubtedly, as Susan Sontag said, ‘the real thing and the rarest’.