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Distant Star (1996)

by Roberto Bolaño

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8442421,747 (3.75)34
An unnamed narrator observes the progression of a young poet into an enigmatic officer and nationalist sky writer with darkly creative aspirations in Pinochet's air force.
  1. 10
    A Funny Dirty Little War by Osvaldo Soriano (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: I thought Soriano's novela satirising the Argentine dictatorship might appeal to those who enjoyed Distant Star - it's funnier and it packs a lot more punch.
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» See also 34 mentions

English (18)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
this was a perfect little meditation on the dark side of art. some parts are hard to read, and the menace embodied in the main subject was a little difficult to live with while reading, but it was worth it ... to me. you may disagree. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
Me cae difícil discutir este libro afuera del contexto de sus otras obras Detectives salvajes y 2666 porque se trata de una investigación, una búsqueda en vano muy parecido a las de los dos libros posteriores.
No sé entonces si recomendar al nuevo lector de Bolaño que lea a ésta para prepararse y gozar del personaje principal bien raro, a ver si tiene la atención para 2666 en particular, o si recomendar que pase a este libro y se eche directamente al mucho más desarrollado 2666. Me parece que los personajes y el mundo en 2666 contienen la búsqueda imposible y mundo literario inventado mejor que la breve Estrella distante. No obstante este librito desborda con detalles autobiográficos y otros datos claves que pueden ayudar a la lectura de las obras posteriores.
SPOILER ALERT hace claro este libro que

SPOILER ALERT el narrador de 2666 probablemente es

SPOILER ALERT ¡Arturo Belano mismo! ( )
  EugenioNegro | Mar 17, 2021 |
An engrossing, tense and disturbing read. I was sad that I lacked the background to appreciate fully the deeper subtleties. ( )
  nick4998 | Oct 31, 2020 |
It's Roberto Bolaño, but only three-star Bolaño...

Let it be known that I love this writer's works, and 'The Savage Detectives', in particular. However... this novella has its moments but it's inconsistent. And it's no surprise. It's another of the books based on an incident from a former work (in this case, the highly entertaining 'Nazi Literature in the Americas'). And Bolaño informs us in the preface that he and his fictional alter-ego, Arturo Belano, knocked out the text in six weeks. It shows.

The opening and ending are strong, as they always seem to be with Bolaño. One can envisage his starting with the two bookends then working out how to get from one to the other. There are some strong passages, notably those involving the anti-hero, a Chilean fascist named Carlos Wieder who is a memorably unpleasant sociopath. Then there are other passages where the virtues of this or that poet are mentioned but without giving the reader anything to go on, unless he/she happens to be an expert on Chilean poetry. There are unconvincing depictions of Soviet generals as film stars/heart throbs. These sections remind me of Murakami - and from this reader's perspective, that's not a good thing...

Overall, then, I found this readable but the slightest of Bolaño's works I've read so far. ( )
  PZR | Jul 28, 2018 |
I love Bolaño. It's not quite Savage Detectives though. ( )
  deeronthecurve | Jan 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roberto Bolañoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andrews, ChrisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glastra van Loon, AlineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"What star falls unseen?"

William Faulkner
Dedication
For Victoria  Ávalos and Lautaro Bolaño
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La primera vez que vi a Carlos Wieder fue en 1971 o tal vez en 1972, cuando Salvador Allende era presidente de Chile.
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An unnamed narrator observes the progression of a young poet into an enigmatic officer and nationalist sky writer with darkly creative aspirations in Pinochet's air force.

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