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The Insufferable Gaucho

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,690 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
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 a ...more
Hardcover, 164 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by New Directions (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mike Puma
The Insufferable Gaucho is a mix of fiction (five short stories) and two essays which revisit themes, implicitly and explicitly, from Bolaño’s most ambitious novels, 2666 and The Savage Detectives

The Short Stories:
Jim—on the surface, a very short story about a troubled Vietnam veteran living the life of a poet in Mexico. Its brevity speaks to the question: What can we know about other people—their demons? The story will almost necessarily remind readers of The Savage Detectives and the character
...more
Lee
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I prefer watching the great masters do real combat, deploying torrential imperfect trailblazers against the eternity cemetery always opening under our feet -- and it's been a while since I've watched this great master spar (ie, since I've read one of his shorter titles) but these four stories plus one quickie plus two essays seemed at least like a worthwhile prize fight. The book itself is a perfectly weighted and formatted hardback of a ringside seat, replete with burgundy boards. Inside its re ...more
Barry Pierce
This is very much a so-so collection from Bolaño. The fiction stories didn’t do anything for me, which is strange because I’ve always enjoyed Bolaño's strange view of the world. However, the end of this collection contains two non-fiction essays which are absolute sensations. Literature + Illness = Illness is a non-fiction collection of vignettes in which Bolaño discusses his life with the cancer that will eventually kill him. A stark piece which gives a pared back view into his mind and his ins ...more
pierlapo  quimby
Si imparano sempre cose nuove dai libri, da quelli buoni o eccellenti, come da quelli pessimi.
Ad esempio dalla lettura del gaucho insostenibile, che appartiene alla prima categoria e non certo alla seconda, ho imparato un detto benaugurante, un saluto di buona fortuna che mi ha subito conquistato: che ti piova sottile.
Bello, no?
La pioggia sottile può essere rinfrescante se la calura si fa insopportabile, non dà fastidio come un acquazzone - tuttavia bisognerebbe non essere miopi o astigmatici, m
...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was never a Bolano aficionado. Yes, Last Evenings on Earth was mesmerizing and like nothing I had read before, and though eager in purchasing his mammoth works at discounted prices, I have never felt like indulging. There is a block in my head about Bolano, about his ever-ready referential slips, about the rebellious poets who populate his stories, about pages over pages of criticism of other writers (Chilean or otherwise). I have never been able to relate. Like in one of the stories in this c ...more
M. Sarki
Sep 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who care about living and dying
Recommended to M. by: luck
Shelves: 5-star-wonders
Another book I thoroughly enjoyed almost top to bottom. Except I read it for the most part backwards as I prefer essays to short stories, but who can tell the difference sometimes? As much as I enjoyed Roberto Bolaño's latest book of essays Between Parentheses this book flat knocked me out. Except for Police Rat, and Two Catholic Tales, all the rest of the stories and essays were nothing short of fantastic. It is a sad day when you find somebody as gifted as Roberto Bolaño was and he seems to up ...more
Carlos Bennett
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En "El gaucho Insufrible" vemos cosas distintas a las que aparecen en los dos libros de cuentos anteriores de Bolaño ("Llamadas telefónicas" y "Putas asesinas"). Hay un cuento tipico sobre escritores ("El viaje de Alvaro Rousselot") que recuerda mucho a esos cuentos anteriores, pero destacan por sobre todo otros dos cuentos:

1) "El Gaucho Insufrible": un homenaje a "El Sur", de Borges. Un cuento ambientado entre Buenos Aires y la Pampa, nostálgico, más lírico si se quiere de lo que es habitual en
...more
ReemK10 (Paper Pills)
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Roberto Bolano's The Insufferable Gaucho really does read like the declarations of a dying man. One declaration in particular rings especially true.

"These are dark times we live in, but let me begin with a buoyant declaration. Literature in Spanish is in excellent condition! Magnificent, superlative condition!"

Yes, it is, with Bolano being an important literary voice.

In the novel, Bolano remembers the final paragraphs of Borges's story The South.

"He sensed that had he been able to choose or dr
...more
Bill
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
this is the first book by bolano that i have read,even though i own both the savage detectives and 2666, and i really liked it, which is quite surprising, because i don't generally enjoy short stories. they almost always seem to go nowhere and not have a proper ending. i'm always thinking what happens next?

but i didn't find that to be the case with this book, which contains 5 short stories and 2 short essays.they all seemed complete in themselves to me, even the first one, jim, which is only 3 p
...more
Hans Castorp
Pese a que el relato que da título al libro 'El gaucho insufrible' es, a mi humilde entender, casi perfecto, y pese a tener otro relato muy bueno ('El policía de las ratas') y unas conferencias interesantes, el resto parece haber sido añadido para hacer bulto.
Eso sí, Bolaño escribe de lujo.
Emilia
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
La conclusión de este libro es que prefiero las novelas de Bolaño pero que me gustan los cuentos en los que él habla de literatura. Disfruté mucho El viaje de Alvaro Rousselot y Los mitos de Cthulhu pero todos los demás se me hicieron aburridos y hasta uno no terminé.
No recomendaría el libro a excepción de los dos cuentos que mencioné anteriormente.
Daniela
el libro de cuentos más flojo de Bolaño, por lejos.
Alison
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
First foray into the work of Roberto Bolaño, and I'm very pleased. While I don't think this book necessarily qualifies Bolaño for inclusion among the greatest Latin American writers canon (Jorge Luis Borges, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Octavio Paz, Julio Cortazar, et al), their work is really present in his, and that's a good sign. Something that's always drawn me to Latin American literature is the powerful sense of past and future contained within. It's not simply paying homage ...more
jeremy
May 25, 2010 rated it liked it
a brief collection, the insufferable gaucho consists of five short stories and a pair of essays. both the title story and "alvaro rousselot's journey" appeared in the new yorker in 2007, shortly after the savage detectives first exposed most u.s. readers to the late chilean's literary prowess. the book's lead story, "jim," is only three pages long, yet portrays a character that would have been at home in nearly any of bolaño's longer works. "rat police" is the collection's most interesting piece ...more
Jandri
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Los dos primeros cuentos me han encantado.
-"El Gaucho Insufrible" por la temática y la construcción del personaje principal.
-"El Detective de las Ratas" por la originalidad ignota de la propia historia.

Los siguientes relatos bajan un poco el nivel.

Terminando con unas reflexiones bastante interesantes sobre diversos temas como la figura del escritor contemporáneo o un viaje a la acrópolis de la poesía francesa del siglo XIX, adoptando mayormente una marcada clave de ironía, teñida en ocasiones co
...more
Cooper Renner
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read 7 or 8 of Bolano's books--though neither of the doorstops--and find myself generally disappointed. This collection of stories and essays, however, is quite good, except for the tedious story "Police Rat." I would rank it second only to Monsieur Pain, which I found quite interesting. The title story here is almost a bourgeois version of Borges, and the essay Myths of Cthulhu is a fascinating commentary on authorship and celebrity, as pertinent to the US as to Latin America.
julieta
Sep 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ajualatinos
Bolaño me cae tan bien, que lo sigo a donde sea. Aunque hay un par de cuentos (como en todos sus libros de cuentos) que podría haber vivido sin ellos, siempre tiene momentos geniales. Los mitos de Cthulhu es mi favorito, porque creo que es donde se mueve mejor, dándole un poco a los autores, básicamente soltandose la trenza y hablando de literatura. Siempre es buena compañía, y con cada libro me conquista más!
Jeremy
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is kind of a hodgepodge collection, five short stories and two essays. The title piece and longest story doesn't feel like anything else Bolano ever wrote: its got a weirdly pastoral, homey quality to it as we watch an Argentine judge return to the village of his youth following an economic collapse. It's not bad, but it's not really a style that plays to Bolano's strengths. The stories here mostly feel redundant, like weaker variations of things he's done better in his other work.

BUT. The
...more
Allan MacDonell
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I realize I am far from alone in my love of Roberto Bolaño. The five short stories and two essays collected in The Insufferable Gaucho, in common with everything else I’ve read from this natural born expatriate, provide so much solace, companionship and validation that they make me want to be a writer too, a good one. Again, I presume I’m far from alone in that reaction. I further presume that Bolaño has spawned far fewer insufferable writers than have been activated by some of the other authors ...more
Constanza
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roberto Bolaño sin dudas me dejó con ganas de más, de conocer su punto de vista y las críticas literarias que con tanta picardía redacta...
el libro comienza con Jim un relato que lees sin pena ni gloria, no sé si es porque soy muy básica o no supe apreciar lo que el autor me quería transmitir y si es que quería! XD
luego llegó "El gaucho insufrible" AJJJ! es que me encantó, como un abogado (con toda su pomposidad) llega a cuidar a sus dos hijos tras la muerte de su esposa, tener una buena relació
...more
Lu
Apr 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non è facile riuscire a confezionare un racconto, poichè in esso deve essere concentrato tutto un mondo di immagini, suoni ed emozioni capace di catturare il lettore con entusiasmo. Roberto Bolaño ci riesce. Il poeta e saggista cileno mostra di possedere una scrittura viva e vibrante, in grado di di trasmettere al lettore le intense emozioni vissute dai protagonisti dei suoi brevi scritti.
Che sia un uomo infinitamente triste, un giudice in pensione che scopre il suo lato in ombra, un topo polizi
...more
Eliz Mananadhar
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is stuff-of-genius as Bolano starts off with a handsomely moody, almost elegiac, and very melancholic ode in 'Jim' before moving onto the raving brilliance of a floundering intellectual in 'The Insufferable Gaucho'. 'Police Rat' comes across as a hip horror-noir cum social commentary and is a wicked-little-treat to the readers and is hands-down the most entertaining piece in the compilation. Artistic pretensions and revelations pave way to an almost autobiographical-styled stuff of fancy in ...more
Raúl Tello
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anagrama
Este libro de cuentos es igual de disfrutables que los anteriores. La parte final tiene un ensayo muy revelador en el cual Bolaño habla sobre su enfermedad (cirrosis) y la forma en que ve la muerte. Como dije en la reseña de otro de sus libros, es una lástima que haya muerto tan pronto. Aún tenía mucho que ofrecer.
Tom
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Another beautiful collection by Bolaño, this one including two essays, one, dedicated to his hepatologist, on (terminal) illness, the other on Spanish literature. The title story is an allegory about Argentinean politics, and the book as a whole--typical for Bolaño--are studies, meditations, and anecdotes on sex, death, politics, violence, terror, and joy. Told with Bolaño's floating style that seems simultaneously to be about everything and nothing. Chris Andrews's translation is impeccable, as ...more
Ryan
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Seven pieces - 5 stories and 2 essays - by a "mythical" writer. The title story is a homage to a story by Borges. It's a posthumous collection but the stories are living stories, not dead, though they are often inhabited by zombies, or I should say zombie-like characters. I loved it. But then I'm partial to everything Bolañese. I think it's fortunate for me to have read this book in the same month as Pedro Páramo . Otherwise I wouldn't have recognized the allusions to that book.
Consuelo
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es el primer libro de cuentos de Bolaño que leo y curiosamente me gustó un montón....me esperaba algo más incomprensible, tipo Amberes.

Con esto (y sobre todo por el penúltimo ensayo), me está pasando con Bolaño lo mismo que con Foster Wallace y ahora ultimo Sylvia Plath, que es que quiero sicopatear más sobre su vida y como que lo amo un poco.
CA
Apr 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Son menos relatos y muchos más extensos, en esta ocasión si se sienten como historias completas y no como bocetos o ideas a medio acabar, me gustaron bastante. De todos modos siento que ya he leído mucho de él así que voy a parar por ahora.
Francisco
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Utiliza diferentes estilos en cada cuento. El que más me gustó fue el llamado "Policía de Ratas" que me atrapó totalmente y junto con el que da el nombre al libro creo que son los más redondos de todos.
Marianovsky
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buen libro de cuentos de Bolaño
Pablo Ahmed
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Un Bolaño que habla desde la enfermedad, con clara influencia de Wittgenstein, una reflexión sobre todo lo que nos llega sin pensarlo: los hijos, el final del viaje. Los cuentos presentan cuestiones de identidad y de existencia, los ensayos son un memento mori que intentan dar un vistazo a la concepción del humano que tiene Bolaño, ¿de qué nos aferramos hasta el último momento? y entre las tres respuestas aparece la literatura, una literatura qué se parece a un ente vivo y una literatura que pue ...more
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For most of his early adulthood, Bolaño was a vagabond, living at one time or another in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain.

Bolaño moved to Europe in 1977, and finally made his way to Spain, where he married and settled on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona, working as a dishwasher, a campground custodian, bellhop and garbage collector — working during the day and writing at night.

H
...more
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“If you're going to say what you want to say, you're going to hear what you don't want to hear.” 378 likes
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