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Publisher's Summary

A deathbed confession revolving around Opus Dei and Pinochet, By Night in Chile pours out the self-justifying dark memories of the Jesuit priest Father Urrutia.

As through a crack in the wall, By Night in Chile's single night-long rant provides a terrifying, clandestine view of the strange bedfellows of church and state in Chile. This wild, eerily compact novel - Roberto Bolaño's first work available in English - recounts the tale of a poor boy who wanted to be a poet but ends up a half-hearted Jesuit priest and conservative literary critic, a sort of lapdog to the rich and powerful cultural elite, in whose villas he encounters Pablo Neruda and Ernst Jünger.

Father Urrutia is offered a tour of Europe by agents of Opus Dei to study "the disintegration of the churches" - a journey into realms of the surreal - and, ensnared by this plum, he is next assigned, after the destruction of Allende, the secret never-to-be-disclosed job of teaching Pinochet, at night, all about Marxism, so the junta generals can know their enemy. Soon, searingly, his memories go from bad to worse.

Heart-stopping and hypnotic, By Night in Chile marked the American debut of an astonishing writer.

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about By Night in Chile

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  • Overall
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Dreamscape by a Talented Chilean Writer

I was told that Bolaño’s 2666 was a masterpiece but thought that I would try this book first as the length of 2666 was daunting. This was possibly a mistake for a couple of reasons.

By Night in Chile is written by a Chilean for a Chilean audience, if for any audience at all. It is more a reflection, a meditation, a journal entry by a man going through a difficult time in the history of Chile. I have to admit that I could not understand or identify with many of the writer’s feelings or references. This is not said to invalidate his words, just to say that they meant little to me.

This book, I won’t call it a novel, may have been written to express Bolaño’s feelings and the prose, even in translation, is often quite elegant, but never touched me. I had to fight to get to the end.

Sorry, but I don’t think I’ll be attempting 2666.

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Wonderful hallucinations

This book is an amazing collection of ponderings and sometimes babbles of the mind of a man at his death bed. Amazing work of art.

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This is Bolagno- one of the greatest writers of all time read in a very very annoying way!! by Tom River. He is trying to imitate an old man's voice but in reality he sounds like a young man making fun of an old man. Terrible!! Absolutely terrible. Imagine John Lee or George Guidall doing the novel. You then would be listening to a masterpiece. Tom River- time to take acting lessons (seriously).

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I love Roberto Bolaño

Bolaño is a master of complexity. In this beautifully read piece he explores the mind of a culture as well as his own, through literature. The narrator, a priest and literary critic wanders through his life recounting tales of people he has met who while believing they worked for the greater good most likely fell very short. In the end, he realizes his own shortcomings.

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A Deep and Relevant Masterpiece

I found this a beautiful piece of literature. Not to give too much away, a priest and literary critic looks back on his life following the Pinochet regime and after being criticized by a young man for his past actions. It reflects on many aspects of Chilean life at that time including the importance of literature, the complicated balance between religion and modern culture and what it means to “collaborate”. I am sure it can have many different meanings to different people. Highly recommended.