Amanda's Reviews > The Savage Detectives

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
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Feb 01, 09

bookshelves: knock-your-socks-off, book-club, all-time-favorites
Read in December, 2008

I'm upgrading from 4 to 5 stars, because this book stayed under my skin for months.


Fucking beautiful.

I don't have the eloquence to accurately describe The Savage Detectives. A novel about literature and poetry itself, about the romanticism of youth and revolution and what happens to the romantics, it tells of the two fathers of visceral realism in 1970s Mexico City, Arturo Belaño and Ulises Lima.

The title is deliberate. The novel is structured in a way that we learn about our protagonists only secondhand: briefly through the journal of a young and earnest visceral realist and in the much meatier middle section of the novel through oral histories of the friends, lovers, coworkers, adversaries that our two heroes encountered throughout their lives in Mexico and abroad.

It is unlike anything else I have read. I will read it again, and I will read more Bolaño.
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