The Savage Detectives

The Savage Detectives

Book - 2008
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National Bestseller

In this dazzling novel, the book that established his international reputation, Roberto Bolaño tells the story of two modern-day Quixotes--the last survivors of an underground literary movement, perhaps of literature itself--on a tragicomic quest through a darkening, entropic universe: our own. The Savage Detectives is an exuberant, raunchy, wildly inventive, and ambitious novel from one of the greatest Latin American authors of our age.

Publisher: New York : Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008
Edition: 1st Picador ed
ISBN: 9780312427481
Branch Call Number: Bolaño, R
Characteristics: xxiii, 648 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Wimmer, Natasha
Uniform Title: Detectives salvajes


From Library Staff

"Los detectives salvajes" translated into English.

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JCLMattC Oct 10, 2020

My second read from this author. My favorite part was the gang of poets crammed into the Impala, speeding away for their lives from Mexico City, into the Sonoran Desert, and as they drive they're quizzing each other on stanzas and poetic devices.

Mar 04, 2020

I read this because it turned up on a list of the significant books of the 21st century (so far). I really enjoyed it while I was reading but I think that’s because it’s a really good translation. It didn’t seem like just English but it was not stilted. I felt like I was reading Spanish in English (not that I read Spanish). When I wasn’t reading I wasn’t in a hurry to get back to it. There is not much going on, in fact I suspect the story wasn’t that big of a concern to the author. I felt it was just the content for the form of the book. I think I’d recommend it because it is really well written but know that the story really isn’t going to engage you. At times it drew me in and at other times I felt it was an advertisement for the literary culture of the Spanish speaking world.

OPL_AnnaW Dec 20, 2019

A pair of fringe poets navigate underground Mexico City while seeking their literary hero. Featuring seedy characters with beautiful minds, this book makes me ponder the question, "what is art?".

IndyPL_JasonD Jul 22, 2019

An excellent collage of stories and characters that comprise of a group of poets and their journey/lifestyle, one of the narrators/characters happens to be the author himself. It is an interesting perspective into the author’s life, history, and love for poetry, which takes place around the world--mostly in Mexico City and its peripheries.

Oct 26, 2014

Take your time with this one. The first section reads quickly but at the start if the second part, Bolano throws the brakes. However, if you stick with it you will be taken through a multilayered depiction of some of the most radical poets ever!

Mar 21, 2011

I gave up this book after the first section, which I thought was tedious. It wasn't interesting to me to read characters debating the merits or faults of poets I don't care about for page after page. If you were *really into* Lat. Am. poetry, you would probably like this book. But, I looked at some other reviews and one guy who *liked* this book even said that the second section is "labyrinthine, and sometimes aimless", so I'm glad I gave it up when I did. So many books, so little time - so I'm not slogging miserably through this one!


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