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The Savage Detectives A Novel

ISBN: 9780312427481 | 0312427484
Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Picador
Pub. Date: 3/4/2008

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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. Roberto Bolaño was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. He grew up in Chile and Mexico City, where he was a founder of the Infrarealist poetry movement. His first full-length novel, The Savage Detectives , received the Herralde Prize and the Rómulo Gallegos Prize when it appeared in 1998. Roberto Bolaño died in Blanes, Spain, at the age of fifty. One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year A Washington Post Top 10 Book of the Year A New York Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year A Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of the Year A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Top 10 Book of the Year In the novel 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. "When I began reading The Savage Detectives last month, I had already devoured the first three of Bolaño''s books to arrive in English'”two short novels, By Night in Chile and Distant Star , and the story collection Last Evenings on Earth '”and become a devoted fan. But I was still unprepared for The Savage Detectives , the work that made his reputation when it first appeared in 1998, and for which he was awarded the Rómulo Gallegos Prize. Available now in a seamless translation by Natasha Wimmer, this novel is an utterly unique achievement'”a modern epic rich in character and event, suffused in every sentence with Bolaño''s unsettling mix of precision and mystery. It''s a lens through which the strange becomes ordinary and the ordinary is often very strange."'” Vinnie Wilhelm, San Francisco Chronicle "Over the last few years, Roberto Bolaño's reputation, in English at least, has been spreading in a quiet contagion; the loud arrival of a long novel, The Savage Detectives , will ensure that few are now untouched . . . The novel is wildly enjoyable (as well as, finally, full of lament), in part because Bolaño, despite all the game-playing, has a worldly literal, sensibility . . . The Savage Detectives is both melancholy and fortifying; and it is both narrowly about poetry and broadly about the difficulty of sustaining the hopes of youth. Bolaño beautifully manages to keep his comedy and his pathos in the same family."'” James Woods, The New York Times Book Review "Bolaño''s fiction is, in large part, an ironic mythologization of his personal history, and The Savage Detectives hews closest to what Latin-American writers call the Bolaño legend. The novel, which has been given a bracingly idiomatic translation by Natasha Wimmer, is a teeming, ''Manhattan Transfer''-like collage featuring more than fifty narrators . . . When The Savage Detectives was published, Ignacio Echevarría, Spain''s most prominent literary critic, praised it as ''the kind of novel that Borges could have written.'' He got it half right. Borges, whose longest work of fiction is fifteen pages, would likely have admired the way Bolaño''s novel emerges from a branching tree of stories. But what would he have made of the delirious road trip, the frenzied sex, the sloppy displays of male ego? Bolaño fills his canvas with messy Lawrencian emotions but places them within a coolly cerebral frame. It''s a style worthy of its own name: visceral modernism."'” Daniel Zalewski, The New


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