Unlikely as it may seem, this year’s champion recipient of critical plaudits and book blog buzz is an unfinished 900-page novel in translation. 2666 is the posthumous masterpiece of the Chilean-born writer Roberto Bolañ. At the book’s dark heart is the story of the murders of hundreds of women in the Mexican bordertown of Santa Teresa—a thin fictionalization of real events in Ciudad Juarez. But 2666 also ranges over a dazzling kaleidoscope of other settings, from postwar Germany to contemporary Detroit. A fine gift for English majors, aspiring writers, globetrotters, expatriates, and anyone with lots of free time.