New Year's Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, poets and leaders of a movement they call visceral realism, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their mission: to track down the poet Cesarea Tinajero, who disappeared into the Sonora desert - and obscurity - decades before. But the detectives are themselves hunted men, and their search for the past will end in violence, flight, and permanent exile. In this dazzling novel, Roberto Bolano tells the story of two modern-day Quixotes on a twenty-year, multi-continent, tragicomic quest through a darkening universe. 'A unique voice asserting the importance and exuberance of literature...Bolano writes with such elegance, verve and style and is so immensely readable. He makes you feel changed for having read him; he adjusts your angle of view on the world' - "Guardian". 'Part road movie, part joyful, nostalgic confession. A masterpiece' - "Daily Telegraph". 'Extraordinary ...A portrait of people for whom literature is bread and water, sex and death. The abiding message to be taken from Bolano's novel, and maybe from his fraught life, too: books matter' - "GQ".