Bolaño’s spare prose lends his narrator’s account a chilly precision.

The New Yorker

A chilling novel about the nightmare of a corrupt and brutal dictatorship.

Distant Star

Fiction by Roberto Bolaño

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

The star of Roberto Bolaño’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 multi-media 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 see signs of his activity over and over again. A corrosive, mocking humor sparkles within Bolaño’s darkest visions of Chile under Pinochet. In Bolaño’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 Bolaño.”

Editions: PaperbackEbook

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Paperback (published December 1, 2004)

ISBN
9780811215862
Price US
14.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
160

Ebook (published December 1, 2004)

ISBN
9780811220521
Price US
14.95
Page Count
160

Roberto Bolaño

Twentieth-century Chilean poet and novelist

Bolaño’s spare prose lends his narrator’s account a chilly precision.

The New Yorker

[Distant Star is a] true masterpiece that will remain one of the key readings of contemporary literature.

Vanguardia

The most influential and admired novelist of his generation in the Spanish-speaking world.

—Susan Sontag, Times Literary Supplement