Roberto Bolaño

Roberto Bolaño was a Chilean novelist, short-story writer, poet, and essayist. Born on April 28, 1953, in Santiago, Chile, he spent much of his life in Mexico and Spain. Bolaño is widely regarded as one of the most significant Latin American writers of his generation. His work is known for its complex narratives, which often explore themes of literature, exile, and political violence. He gained international recognition with novels such as 'The Savage Detectives' (1998) and '2666' (2004), the latter published posthumously. Bolaño passed away on July 15, 2003, in Barcelona, Spain.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Savage Detectives

    "The Savage Detectives" is a novel that follows the lives of two Latin American poets, Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, who are founders of a literary movement called "visceral realism." The book is divided into three parts and is narrated by multiple characters, providing different perspectives on the protagonists. The narrative spans over 20 years, following the poets' journey from Mexico City to Europe, Israel, and Africa, as they search for a mysterious poetess and navigate through the world of literature, sex, drugs, and the complexities of life.

    The 452nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. 2666

    The novel is a sprawling, ambitious work that spans continents and time periods, centering around an elusive, reclusive German author. It intertwines five different narratives: a group of European academics searching for the author, a professor in Mexico dealing with his own personal crises, a New York reporter sent to cover a boxing match in Mexico, an African-American journalist in Detroit, and the horrifying and unsolved murders of hundreds of women in a Mexican border town. The narratives are linked by themes of violence, mystery, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world.

    The 488th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Distant Star

    "Distant Star" is a chilling novel set in Chile following the 1973 coup that overthrew Salvador Allende. The story focuses on a character who uses his position as a member of the Chilean Air Force to commit heinous acts of violence. His fascination with poetry and aerial acrobatics is interwoven with his terrifying actions, creating a disconcerting contrast. The narrative explores the horrific realities of political upheaval, the fine line between art and brutality, and the long-lasting effects of trauma.

    The 7773rd Greatest Book of All Time