Unpredictable and daring, highly controlled and yet somehow haywire, the five short stories included here are some of Bolano'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: `Literature + Illness = Illness' and `The Myths of Cthulhu'. Provocative and often scathing, these essays are alive with Bolano's trademark humour, violence and utter faith in the power of the written word. Roberto Bolano confirmed his place as a giant of Latin American literature with his novels The Savage Detectives and 2666. He is undoubtedly, as Susan Sontag said, `the real thing and the rarest'. The Insufferable Gaucho was the last book he prepared for publication before he died in 2003.