Drew's Reviews > The Savage Detectives

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
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's review
Feb 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: latin-american-lit
Read from February 03 to 24, 2011

Sort of a let down, because I was so sure it was going to be exactly my type of thing, but it wasn't, really. Still good, though. It also seems like Bolaño's works all play off of each other, so this may get better in retrospect as I read something like 2666. That's the hope, anyway.
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Reading Progress

02/03/2011 page 75
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Benzo (new)

Benzo How is this? I've almost bought it twice. However, my current backlog of owned-but-unread books keeps me from picking it up.

Drew Too early to tell; so far it's very readable, the translation seems just fine. I had very high expectations, based on this quote from it: "Without turning, the pharmacist answered that he liked books like The Metamorphosis, Bartleby, A Simple Heart, A Christmas Carol. And then he said that he was reading Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. Leaving aside the fact that A Simple Heart and A Christmas Carol were stories, not books, there was something revelatory about the taste of this bookish young pharmacist, who ... clearly and inarguably preferred minor works to major ones. He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pecouchet, and A Christmas Carol over A Tale of Two Cities or The Pickwick Papers. What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze a path into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench." But so far it's just been about this kid trying to have sex with a bunch of women, which is, you know, fine, but a little disappointing.

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