The Savage Detectives eBook Ý The Savage Epub /

The Savage Detectives eBook Ý The Savage Epub /


The Savage Detectives ➥ [Epub] ➟ The Savage Detectives By Roberto Bolaño ➯ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk New Year s Eve, Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala Their quest to track down the obscure, vanished poet C New Year s Eve,Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala Their quest to track down the obscure, vanished poet Ces rea Tinajero A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the runThe explosive first long work by the most exciting writer to come from south of The Savage Epub / the Rio Grande in a long time Ilan Stavans, Los Angeles Times , The Savage Detectives follows Belano and Lima through the eyes of the people whose paths they cross in Central America, Europe, Israel, and West Africa This chorus includes the muses of visceral realism, the beautiful Font sisters their father, an architect interned in a Mexico City asylum a sensitive young follower of Octavio Paz a foul mouthed American graduate student a French girl with a taste for the Marquis de Sade the great granddaughter of Leon Trotsky a Chilean stowaway with a mystical gift for numbers the anorexic heiress to a Mexican underwear empire an Argentinian photojournalist in Angola and assorted hangers on, detractors, critics, lovers, employers, vagabonds, real life literary figures, and random acquaintancesA polymathic descendant of Borges and Pynchon, Roberto Bola o traces the hidden connection between literature and violence in a world where national boundaries are fluid and death lurks in the shadow of the avant garde The Savage Detectives is a dazzling original, the first great Latin American novel of the twenty first century.

    The Savage Detectives eBook Ý The Savage Epub / a world where national boundaries are fluid and death lurks in the shadow of the avant garde The Savage Detectives is a dazzling original, the first great Latin American novel of the twenty first century."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 577 pages
  • The Savage Detectives
  • Roberto Bolaño
  • English
  • 11 June 2017
  • 0374191484

About the Author: Roberto Bolaño

For most of his early adulthood, Bola o was a vagabond, living at one time or another in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, France and SpainBola o moved to Europe in , and finally made his way to Spain, where he married and settled on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona, working as a dishwasher, a campground custodian, bellhop and garbage collector working during the day and writing at night He continued with his The Savage Epub / poetry, before shifting to fiction in his early forties In an interview Bola o stated that he made this decision because he felt responsible for the future financial well being of his family, which he knew he could never secure from the earnings of a poet This was confirmed by Jorge Herralde, who explained that Bola o abandoned his parsimonious beatnik existence because the birth of his son in made him decide that he was responsible for his family s future and that it would be easier to earn a living by writing fiction However, he continued to think of himself primarily as a poet, and a collection of his verse, spanning years, was published in under the title The Romantic DogsRegarding his native country Chile, which he visited just once after going into voluntary exile, Bola o had conflicted feelings He was notorious in Chile for his fierce attacks on Isabel Allende and other members of the literary establishment In , after a long period of declining health, Bola o passed away It has been suggested that he was at one time a heroin addict and that the cause of his death was a liver illness resulting from Hepatitis C, with which he was infected as a result of sharing needles during his mainlining days However, the accuracy of this has been called into question It is true that he suffered from liver failure and was close to the top of a transplant list at the time of his deathBola o was survived by his Spanish wife and their two children, whom he once called my only motherland Although deep down he always felt like a poet, his reputation ultimately rests on his novels, novellas and short story collections Although Bola o espoused the lifestyle of a bohemian poet and literary enfant terrible for all his adult life, he only began to produce substantial works of fiction in the s He almost immediately became a highly regarded figure in Spanish and Latin American lettersIn rapid succession, he published a series of critically acclaimed works, the most important of which are the novel Los detectives salvajes The Savage Detectives , the novella Nocturno de Chile By Night In Chile , and, posthumously, the novel His two collections of short stories Llamadas telef nicas and Putas asesinas were awarded literary prizes In a number of unpublished novels were discovered among the author s papers.



10 thoughts on “The Savage Detectives

  1. Jessica Jessica says:

    I ll bet a lot of us walk around with some real concrete ideas about just who it is we could possibly fall in love with Maybe the specifics of our ideas change over time and even become less rigid, but still we maintain that we know on some level what it is that we want Maybe when we re nineteen, we re convinced we could only ever truly love a man with a neck tattoo who sings lead in an Oi band and has great feminist politics and knows how to cook Or maybe our criteria are purely negative, a I ll bet a lot of us walk around with some real concrete ideas about just who it is we could possibly fall in love with Maybe the specifics of our ideas change over time and even become less rigid, but still we maintain that we know on some level what it is that we want Maybe when we re nineteen, we re convinced we could only ever truly love a man with a neck tattoo who sings lead in an Oi band and has great feminist politics and knows how to cook Or maybe our criteria are purely negative, and we know for a fact that we could never love anyone who voted for Nader, who has facial hair, or is a Yankees fan, or knows about wine Perhaps once we get a little older we insist we re not picky, and maintain it is just simple common sense that we could not under any circumstances possibly fall in love with someone who uses emoticons, smokes clove cigarettes, dislikes children, has a barcode tattoo, or watches too much television We will fall in love with a person who s got great taste in literature, who has beautiful arm muscles, who also can t dance, who s memorized Repo Man and is useful in a bar fight and knows how to sign We say we re open minded, but we have these ideas We know what we want, what we are capable of falling for We sense what it is that we can love and what we cannot, in the abstract, without even trying and waiting to see.Pretty much same thing goes for books I tend to think that I know what I ll get into, just as I m pretty sure that I know what I won t I hateOn the Roadand shy away from what I perceive to be dude books or dick lit or anything too scenestery or self consciously literary For these reasons and , I really wouldn t think that I d particularly go for a longish, fairly plotless novel about a group of drunk, shaggy haired, pot smoking poets hanging out and getting laid all the time and bouncing around Latin America, Europe, and other sundry continents In fact, this thumbnail description is sort of the book equivalent of the right wing, cigar smoking pharmaceutical rep blind date who loves jam bands I would not have gone out with Roberto Bola o in a million years based on my google stalking his myspace page, if my friend s girlfriend and my coworker and my roommate s friend and the chick who cut my hair hadn t all happened to know him in one way or another and all universally insisted that I give this guy a shot.And whaddaya know old spinster Jessica, swept off her feet This was like when you find a guy who s cute but wearing sandals and a really ugly Hardrock Cafe tee shirt and has long, scruffly hair and listens to Latin Jazz and is really into capoeira and rock climbing like really into capoeira and rock climbing and you go over to his house and realize he owns no books, except like three Kurt Vonnegut paperbacks and maybe The Outlaw Poetry Anthology and a hardcover of Guns, Germs, and Steel that his aunt gave him for Christmas six years ago and which of course he never opened because he hasn t read a book since high school but then you go out into his backyard and both climb up into the tree there, and he makes you laugh a lot for some reason, and then you stay up until 6 am drinking ginger ale and talking about life, and then awhile after the sun comes up you both go to bed, and he doesn t even have blankets he has a sleeping bag even though he s actually almost thirty years old, but suddenly you don t care about that any, and pretty soon you re walking around in his baggy Hardrock Cafe tee shirt and sandals because you lost one of your shoes and your own clothes are too dirty to wear any since you haven t been home in a week and you re so stoned out of your mind just from being around him that you start to think that tee shirt is actually kind of cool, and anyway, it smells like him, and him is the best smell that you ve ever smelt, the best idea you ve ever even thought of, if that makes sense, which of course it doesn t, because at this point you re gone.I already lent my copy out to a friend, which makes getting into specificsdifficult but should recommend the book on its own If I remember correctly the affair is already a bit of a blur , this book has three main parts The first and last are the diary entries of a seventeen year old student with incredible stamina who s living in late seventies Mexico City, who gets caught up with the emerging visceral realist poetry moment The huge middle portion sandwiched by the kid s diary entries is a series of depositions or anecdotes, or monologues, or whatever they are taken over three decades from characters whose paths have crossed, on one continent or another, those of the founders of visceral realism the infamous poets Ulises Lima and Arturo Belano.The quantity of characters here is a bit Dickensian Russian i.e., ridiculous , and I d actually started making a list of them in the back flap, which I sort of recommend doing because it can get slightly confusing at times However, the fact that making such a cheat sheet isn t strictly necessary is a testament to this guy s skill as a writer His characters are distinctive from one another, and all speak in the author s style and yet also in their own recognizable and totally enthralling voices Ay, those voices This book changed the way I felt about that whole talking to the camera device in fiction This can work, and over, its effect can be incredible This is how people honestly are, or maybe it s just how I want them to be.The way Bola o writes about women is one of the reasons why I was able to give myself over so fully to this novel While the world and characters described are far from egalitarian, I felt that the author took his female characters very seriously, and was equally adept at writing from a male or female perspective This is a gift I maintain is fairly rare, and it really helped counter my impression that this was a dude novel At the same time, I really liked the way he wrote about sex from a male perspective This book is hot I mean, parts of it are This guy can write a sex scene, that s all I m saying I mean, you might not agree, in which case you ll probably think I m weird But whatever, I m just calling it like I see it Jeez Leave me alone In any case, The Savage Detectives restored my somewhat agnostic faith in narrative, fictional characters, and humanity in general This book was incredibly beautiful It really was I know I should come up with a better way to put that, but unfortunately that s all I got if you want to read something wonderfully phrased, I suggest you jump ship on my review and grab yourself some Bola o Again, I wish I had a better way to say this, but The Savage Detectives caught some breathing, squirming, hot blooded aspect of the experience of living, and bottled it for convenient distribution and mass consumption during dull moments such as train rides For me, this book justified the importance of language by reminding us of the reason why it exists as a form of expression and communication, as the medium which makes sense of our experience and helps the pain of living seem like something worth freaking out about in a grand and desperately passionate fashion.If I werethe type of girl to hand out five star reviews, I d have given one gratefully to The Savage Detectives This novel singlehandedly transformed the way I felt about commuting, and I m a little terrified by the prospect of returning to the subway not to mention my life now that I m done with it It s been awhile since I was this instantly and consistently caught up in a book There was no getting to know you period I was immersed right away in the first few pages, and my interest never waned all the way through to its thoroughly satisfying close There were no missteps in here, no off notes or dull parts or things that I felt were wrong or missing Was it high passion It wasn t high passion I don t think this is the greatest thing I ve ever read, and I m still really not sure what was so wonderful about it, or why everyone else on here went so bananas over The Savage Detectives. I just know that for some reason, I did kind of fall in love with this book.I think falling in love is the answer you get when you solve for a special, specific equation of familiarity and surprise Falling in love is the recognition of yourself in someone else, shot through with a foreignness that shocks you with something beyond what you d ever be capable of doing or imagining alone Reading this book felt just like that to me Falling in love, like reading great fiction, means trusting someone enough to let that person take your hand and then lead you gently, firmly, adoringly, right off a cliff The Savage Detectives did exactly this, and at the end of the day, that s all I want

  2. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    Since there are so many fantastic reviews of The Savage Detectives, I thought I would offer a slightly different approach as per below In Part 1, the first person narrator, seventeen year old Juan Garcia Madero, tells us right off he is reading the erotic fiction of Pierre Louys incidentally, one of Louys s novels was made into a Luis Bu uel film That Obscure Object of Desire Also, the way Juan speaks of the visceral realists, a group of wild avant garde poets where young Juan is a member, Since there are so many fantastic reviews of The Savage Detectives, I thought I would offer a slightly different approach as per below In Part 1, the first person narrator, seventeen year old Juan Garcia Madero, tells us right off he is reading the erotic fiction of Pierre Louys incidentally, one of Louys s novels was made into a Luis Bu uel film That Obscure Object of Desire Also, the way Juan speaks of the visceral realists, a group of wild avant garde poets where young Juan is a member, reminded me of another group the League, a secret society in Hermann Hesse s The Journey to the East I enjoy how Juan will list the authors various poets, novelists, short story writers, essayists he comes across as his meanders through Mexico City For example when he goes into room of one of the visceral realists, Luscious Skin what a name , he spots a stack of books, one by Auguste Monterroso Turns out, this author wrote one of my favorite short stories Mr Taylor about an American anthropologist who goes to a Central American country to live with a forest tribe He sends the tribe s shrunken heads back to the US and makes a fortune The demand for shrunken heads skyrockets but the tribe runs out Well, the government finds out and, along with the anthropologist, comes up with some great plans to cash in on shrunken heads How Let me just say that if you are a poor person living in that country, you had better watch out Anyway, associations like this make for rich, provocative reading Poetic Novelist RBYoung Juan s life in Mexico City is filled to the brim with young women and sexual encounters, conversations about poets and poetry and magazines, lots of coffee and marijuana, but through it all Juan is a kindred spirit to that narrator of Journey to the East, when Hesse s seeker says, For our goal was not only the East, or rather the East was not only a country or something geographical, but it was the home and youth of the soul, it was everywhere and nowhere, it was the union of all times Juan has a strong sense his true home is his poetic voice and, in a way, the visceral realists is his league I must say reading about the two worlds of Juan s life the nitty gritty of everyday Mexico City and the light filled realm of poetry is most refreshing.Then, at one point, when Juan goes into a caf We read, After dark I went back and found Jacinto Requena dying of boredom None of the visceral realists except for him, he said, were showing their faces at the caf Everybody was afraid of running into Arturo Belano, though their fears were unwarranted since the Chelean hadn t been there in days According to Requena, Arturo Belano had begun to kickpoets out of the group You have to love a seventeen year old who is having sex left and right but still has his eye and poetic soul on his ray of light, his league of fellow questers, the visceral realists And you have to admire an author who can splay himself into multiple characters within a novel Roberto Bola o The Poet and Novelist as a Young ManAnd, thank goodness there are some sensitive seventeen year old souls who experience life as an artistic odyssey The printing of this novel could have been set in gold And perhaps a few pages coated with hallucinogens so the reader could lick the pages from time to time this is one of the techniques used by a short story writer in Moacyr Sclair s The Short Story Writers.When we come to Part 2, there are multiple adult men and women first person narrators who relate their experience with the visceral realists and Latin American poetry TheI turned the pages, theI was drawn into a mythic dimension of time Such an uplifting, energizing experience to enter a world where the spirit and power of poetry is the polestar And not only a poetic reaching up, as if the night sky contained a thousand poems for every star, but deep, deep down into the earth Here are a few of my favorite lines, where Venezuelan poet Amadeo Salvatierra relates a conversation with his father and a friend riding through the country outside Mexico City He said that there was probably some pyramid lying buried under our landdeep underground there must be lots of pyramids My father didn t say anything From the darkness of the backseat, I asked him why he thought that He didn t answer Then we started to talk of other things but I kept wondering why he d say that about the pyramids Of course, there were pyramids at Teotihuacan, the pre Columbian Mesoamerican city thirty miles outside present day Mexico City I wouldn t want to press the point too hard, but pyramids bring to mind inner depths of the psyche The Jungian analyst Robert Moore talks a great deal of the archetypal pyramid each of us carries in our collective unconscious the four sides are king queen, warrior, lover and, magician, the magician being that part most directly connected to imagination, creativity, the inner quest and spiritual transformation In traditional societies, those profoundly in touch with magician energy would be chosen to be shamans in our modern, civilized world, the role of shaman is inhabited by, among others, artists and poets It is this magician power the narrators are in touch with as they move through their days and nights, their conversations and writing and reading of poems Here is a reflection from one of the narrators, an Argentinian poet, as he is walking in Mexico City with a Mexican poet and a Chilean poet The three of us were quiet, as if we d been struck dumb, but our bodies moved to a beat, as if something was propelling us through that strange land and making us dance, a silent, syncopated kind of walking, if I can call it that, and then I had a vision, not the first that day, as it happened, or the last the park we were walking through opened up into a kind of lake and the lake opened up into a kind of waterfall and the waterfall became a river that flowed through a kind of cemetery, and all of it, lake, waterfall, river, cemetery, was deep green and silent Young Juan makes his return in Part 3 After all the poetic voices and multiple journeys across many lands in Part 2, we have a deeper appreciation of Juan as a member of the visceral realists And, my word, what a book The Savage Detectives, a novel about those wild, ferocious, half crazed men and woman driven to mythic, intoxicating summits by the carnival of words and the Latino rhythms of their poetry 650 pages of breathtaking magic

  3. Kris Kris says:

    I am struggling over writing this review The Savage Detectives has become an important book to me, and I m trying to find the best way to put a whole series of associations, emotions, and thoughts into words about how it has entered into my life and mind and heart I have a tendency to hide behind a lot of formal analysis when I am writing, but I don t think that approach is good enough for this review I just met a close friend from graduate school for dinner last week he now lives in San Fr I am struggling over writing this review The Savage Detectives has become an important book to me, and I m trying to find the best way to put a whole series of associations, emotions, and thoughts into words about how it has entered into my life and mind and heart I have a tendency to hide behind a lot of formal analysis when I am writing, but I don t think that approach is good enough for this review I just met a close friend from graduate school for dinner last week he now lives in San Francisco, and we don t get to see each other all that often We entered the restaurant soaking wet from a tropical style thunderstorm that hit just as we got out of the cab As we were drying off courtesy of a pile of extra napkins that the sympathetic host gave us , we reconnected with each other as if no time had passed since we navigating the highs and lows of graduate school together It was the 1990s, and we were like sponges, soaking up ideas and books and movies and good meals together We were politically active too, campaigning together to elect Clinton, writing a parody of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas to try to shake off the sting of the 1994 US elections that swept Gingrich and a wave of other Republicans into the House, and commiserating with each other over the latest offensive legislative initiative It was an exciting, scary, enthralling time to be alive.As I was talking with my friend over old times and new, our conversation kept resonating with The Savage Detectives In our mid 40 s, we were looking back across our lives, with affection for our younger selves, but also with understanding over how we had grown and changed over the years, and how the world had changed with us In The Savage Detectives, as Bola o pays homage to his younger self and his comrades in poetry, there s a maturity and wisdom mixed in with the affection, humor, excitement, and sadness that he brings to his exploration of the Visceral Realists, who came together to form an artistic political counter cultural movement in Mexico City in the 1970s, similar to the Infrarealist movement that Bola o belonged to Bola o represents himself through two characters in the novel Juan Garc a Madero, a young, naive student who navigates sexual, artistic, and emotional transitions and rites of passage, and Arturo Belano who, along with Ulises Lima, heads up the Visceral Realists, a group of young poets who are striving to forward political and artistic aims through their poetry The novel is structured around three sections a first and a third section narrated by Juan through diary entries, and a long second section, in which Visceral Realists and their friends, family members, associates, and enemies come together to tell their story through interviews or oral histories There are many themes you can explore through the novel the Latin American poetry scene, the formation of youth cultures and countercultures, gender relations, sexuality, and rites of passage, the split between ideals and reality, how friends grow up, grow apart, and sometimes re connect To me, though, what I take from the novelthan anything else is a re immersion in the excitement of youth, with its discoveries, explorations, complications, and questions There s a dynamism throughout the novel, and while Bola o is willing to poke gentle fun at himself, he also recaptures the excitement, energy, and ideals that fueled the Visceral Realists There is another personal and special meaning of The Savage Detectives for me I joined a Goodreads group read moderated by Ian Graye see In a short period of time, through discussions of the novel, posts of music we loved, and some very creative collaborative interviews, we formed a tight knot group of fellow adventurers I am grateful that everyone was so welcoming to me, a relative newcomer The group exhibited camaraderie, warmth, creativity, intelligence and humor I can t imagine a better group to have read The Savage Detectives with, or a better novel to have read with this group Many thanks to all of you for a truly special experience It s worth coming out from behind my barrier of academic analysis to say that

  4. s.penkevich s.penkevich says:

    Youth is a scam Roberto Bola o 1953 2003 created a very special novel with The Savage Detectives The novel is constantly moving, grinding slowly across the years steady and sure as a freight train, carrying the baggage of our existence towards the inevitable finality of life During the course of my reading, people would misinterpret the title and tell me they enjoyed a good crime thriller and inquire into the plot of the book I clutched lovingly in my hands While this is no whodunnit nov Youth is a scam Roberto Bola o 1953 2003 created a very special novel with The Savage Detectives The novel is constantly moving, grinding slowly across the years steady and sure as a freight train, carrying the baggage of our existence towards the inevitable finality of life During the course of my reading, people would misinterpret the title and tell me they enjoyed a good crime thriller and inquire into the plot of the book I clutched lovingly in my hands While this is no whodunnit novel, it is still an investigation of sorts formed primarily through a series of interviews that leave the truth up to the reader to deduce These various perspectives provide anything from glowing reports to unflattering dismissals of the major characters as their lives intertwine These perspectives form an ever expanding collage of lost souls floating across Europe and the Americas They occasionally collide and leave their mark upon one another and redirecting the course of their lives for better or for worse.The novel begins with the youth and youthful aspirations of young Hispanic poets As is the common folly of youth, they believe firmly in their still forming convictions and have yet to embrace the truths of their own mortality, thus believing in an impenetrable immortality that they will construct of themselves by etching their mark upon the literary scene and politics of Mexico As the timeline expands, we see often these lofty ideals falter, the bonds of friendship fizzle and their efforts fail, and the reader is reminded of their own mortality and the uncertainties that lie ahead of them That sharp flint which we would plunge into the beating heart of the world is chipped through our battles for selfhood and dulled by the temoltous seas of life seas comprised of changing tides and hostile currents that toss us about at will, shattering dreams, friendships and romances upon the rocks Not only is it the personal lives of the characters, but the whole of Mexico itself is thrashed and ravaged as time marches on The sad state of the characters are representative of the state of their nation, and vice versa We are all connected through each other, and through our homeland We can all be dragged down together if we are not careful.Life is fragile and our goals are evenfragile Yet, still we have to press on We must adapt and produce in order to not be effaced from the memory of the world Many of these characters are able to, and we are treated to the advice and stories of those who make it in the literary scene However, it is those who never reach the peak that are ultimately the heroes of this novel Through poetry, they attempt this immortality, this cup of eternal life they so seek If it is not through poetry, then they strive towards criticism and translations Is reaching for immortality through the arts the answer Inaki Exhevarne offers this discouraging impression on the arts and criticism For a while, Criticism travels side by side with the Work, then Criticism vanishes and it s the Readers who keep pace The journey may be long or short Then the Readers die one by one and the Work continues on alone, although a new Criticism and new Readers gradually fall into step with it along its path Then Criticism dies again and the Readers die again and the Work passes over a trail of bones on its journey toward solitude To come near the work, to sail in her wake, is a sign of certain death, but new Criticism and new Readers approach her tirelessly and relentlessly and are devoured by time and speed Finally the Work journeys irremediably alone in the Great Vastness And one day the Work dies, as all things must die and come to an end the Sun and the Earth and the Solar System and the Galaxy and the farthest reaches of man s memory Everything that begins as comedy ends in tragedy. This ultimately makes one feel awkward even writing a review of this book, as it acknowledges that I too must become a permanent fixture in the trail of bones The only way out is to hitch a ride on the Work, to be the name attached to the eternal manuscript even though we still must face Death Despite all this bleakness, Bola o offers a bright outcome It is curious that a novel about poets is relatively devoid of poetic works There are a few samples of older, famous pieces, including an extensive reference to Theodore Sturgeon s short story When You Care, When You Love, but the reader never gets to sample the actual poetry of the Visceral Realists Then, the true poetry is the actual lives of the characters Life itself is the poetic beauty in the world, and it is through our interactions with others that we find immortality Those we encounter become our readers, and through their stories and perspectives they carry on our legacy They interpret our proverbial footprints in the sand for all those who would seek them Felipe M ller s recounting 0f the Sturgeon story told to him by Belano gives us a glimpse into the sort of immortality granted by the encounters with others It is an exercise in infinity The number of people we encounter is constantly growing, hurtling towards an infinite number of people our simple existence affects Many of the characters stories in Savage Detectives have only small references to the major players, Belano and Ulises, but even they take something away from these encounters that will pass through them and their actions into the people they subsequently interact with We occasionally play a large role in the lives of others, but even our smallest roles can be told Think of the cashier you annoyed by buying cigarettes in all change guilty , or the waiter you left an extra generous tip to They may have later told of the small encounter later especially in the case that you annoyed or enraged them, but hey, if Bola o is accurate, it s just a step towards immortality or at least unflattering notoriety Each individual perspective is unique from everyone else s of a person, Each encounter bounces off, sometimes revealing positives and sometimes revealing flaws, and the summation of these perspectives, this penumbra of those around us, form the picture of a person Theperspectives, theaccurate and clear the image In a way, it is like pixels in a picture The novel could have been told from a perspective closer to Ulises and Belano, but through all the various perspectives we get a well rounded idea of who they are, and also learn the lives and aspirations of all those they meet Bola o does a magnificent job creating a diverse cast of characters whose eyes the reader can peer through The voices don t ever become stale, however when compared tochameleon like writers such as David Mitchell of which I ve been gushing over for months now and can t help but use as a yardstick for all other authors, a bitdiversity in the voices would have been a nice touch Still, the effect is pulled off expertly and there are a number of unique voices to soak up Quim offers a truly surreal depiction of the world around him, Barbara is hilariously vulgar, the optimism of the hippy hitchhiker and the amazing chapter of Heimito told in an obfuscating style that reminded me of Faulker s Benjy The rotation of these voices keeps the novel fresh and exciting, and the multiple vantage points on key situations, such as the duel, help pull the reader into the situation and make them feel as if they were there in three dimensions smelling the surf and feeling the sand beneath their feet If I may, I m going to switch from intellect to inebriate for a moment intellect being a term I ve shamelessly and unwarrantedly bestowed upon myself, but it made for some fun word play This novel came at the right time in my life, and allowed me to examine the bonds that tie us to reality A novel like this makes one question their lives, their choices, and really evaluate themselves and value those around them It may be a bit clich d now, but this novel felt to me similar to how On the Road did to me as an impressionable teen I credit many of the traits of my silly puddy teenage personality to my experience with that novel One look at my young college days at MSU, arriving at parties with a cigarette between my lips, guzzling a jug of wine while wearing a flannel shirt and drunkenly ranting about Buddhism, poetry, and the inescapable sadness that provides the true beauty of life, and I might as well have the books title tattooed on my spine It worked at the time, but this is the sort of life we have to let go of lest we become pathetic Savage Detectives takes this sort of ideals and displays them further on down the road The book is rather sad in that it shows how fickle people are towards their goodtime friends Once Ulises and Belano take off, the tight knit group relatively forgets them Some could care less when they return The ephemeral moments we with could last forever are just a brilliant burning flame that will be extinguished We can keep it in our heart and immortalize it through epic retellings, but we can t expect time to stand still If we do, it will trample us on its march to the future I miss my old friends, but I have good ones now too, just a lower number of them due to societal constraints on my time In the past few years I ve left behind my home, my friends and family, to live several hours away and have noticed how true this book is There are good friends I ve now lost touch with, and people that I m sure have forgotten me We all have lives and responsibilities, and when someone isn t immediately present, it is understandable that current issues will elbow their way into the vacant spot The reading of this book in a GR group made a sort of metagroup considering the ideas expressed in the book, and made me really value the discussions and friendships that have been formed on this site Thank you everyone There was a time when I took trains around the Midwest and crashed on couches in Tennessee, but now those are just stories that I hope when others tell them that I appear as a positive and amiable figure in The Kerouac days are over, but what Road was to my youth, Savage Detectives is to my present state in my mid twenties I hope to learn from this book and always remember that our immortality comes through our interactions with others I want to live to the fullest, and to strive to be a positive figure in the stories that will one day be told If you made it this far, thank you for listening to me vomit up some overly sentimental ramblings Don t judge too harshly Savage Detectives is an incredible investigation into the lives of the Visceral Realist, a group based upon actual people in Bolano s life It paints a well rounded portrait of these key figures and reminds us that life is always fluctuating, for better or for worse, as it inches closer to our inevitable deaths This book comes together quite nicely He leaves us with an empowering message that the world outside our window is ours to shape It is a world of infinite possibility Just don t let it shape you Also, it was moving to see the mother of Visceral Realism defend the later generations like a lion to her cubs Despite all the frailties of friendship, the human bond will not break or shake in the face of death, and we see good always strive to conquer evil We all end up as the bones that the eternal Works will step over, but even bones have their story to tell May we all face the stars and the depths of eternity together Everything that begins as comedy ends as as bittersweet memoriesBest enjoyed with a bottle of Tecate or Modelo on a hot summer s day.5 5 my original posting of this review years ago was 4 out of 5, but as time goes on this one has grown so much in my heart that I had to give it the full five.Thanks to everyone in the Cabbage Detectives group led by Don Juan Ian I would encourage anyone to please read their wonderful reviews, as each perspective brings this novel into clearer focus.In no particular order Ian IferKris Scholar MikeMaryJa y Rubin sonSeanPrajAndto come

  5. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    In this quasi autobiographical story, a group of intense young poets, men and women, knock around in mid 1970 s Mexico City Their lives are poetry reading it, writing poems, trying to get them published in fly by night literary magazines that only they read The intensity of their love for poetry is disarming They exist in odd hours, wander aimlessly through the city, drink, make love, steal books from bookstores, and talk poetry constantly As they get older they become migr s in Europe, ma In this quasi autobiographical story, a group of intense young poets, men and women, knock around in mid 1970 s Mexico City Their lives are poetry reading it, writing poems, trying to get them published in fly by night literary magazines that only they read The intensity of their love for poetry is disarming They exist in odd hours, wander aimlessly through the city, drink, make love, steal books from bookstores, and talk poetry constantly As they get older they become migr s in Europe, mainly in Paris and Barcelona, but also in Germany, Israel and Africa This is Jack Kerouac s story if he had been a Latin American The book is structured in three parts The first part is their youth in Mexico City where a group of them free a woman from her pimp and flee to the northwestern Mexican desert in search of a perhaps mythical woman poet They are chased by the pimp and the police The last section of the book is the conclusion of this story The middle half of the book is a series of 4 and 5 page vignettes by folks who knew these poets throughout their lives Some parents friends, acquaintances and distant relatives who fed and housed them ex girlfriends and boyfriends wealthy Latin Americans who lived in Europe, maybe knew their parents, and found them on their doorsteps old poets who welcomed them into their homes book dealers who knew the poets were sealing books from them.Bolano is master of the startling, flat statement I don t get many visitors, just my daughter and a woman and another girl who said she was my daughter too, and who was remarkably pretty But most of the time she didn t have serious problems For a moment I thought he was going to cry, but suddenly, before he said anything, I realized that I d be the one who cried I thought that if I died Arturo would know everything I hadn t told him and would understand it without having to hear it from my lips it s as if I m still dreaming and I can t wake up, although you might think that Latin Americans were less affected by horror than anyone else, at least in theory A woman chases her would be rapist with a knife, stops at a cemetery to watch a child s casket lowered into a grave and then goes to meet a friend for drinks Bolano was a Chilean who lived mainly in Mexico and Spain He died at age 50 in 2003 while waiting for a liver transplant After his early death, Bolano s fame skyrocketed and this book, in particular, has contributed to what his fans have called Bolanomania He was of the second generation that arose after Latin American literature burst on the international scene after World War II thanks to the work of Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Julio Cortazar and Gabriel Garcia Marquez I also reviewed Bolano s short novel, The Skating Rink, set near Barcelona Revised 1 14 2017

  6. Steven Godin Steven Godin says:

    This novel has caused me great distress not so much reading, but trying to figure out just how many of those little stars to dish out I could have opted for a measly two because when it dragged me by the feet into a room of boredom the middle third it decided to drag big time, only to drag someAAAHHH, let me out , can t take anyBut as a stubborn individual there was no way this was going to beat me, I huffed, and I puffed, and I set my eyes to work, as sometimes we have to This novel has caused me great distress not so much reading, but trying to figure out just how many of those little stars to dish out I could have opted for a measly two because when it dragged me by the feet into a room of boredom the middle third it decided to drag big time, only to drag someAAAHHH, let me out , can t take anyBut as a stubborn individual there was no way this was going to beat me, I huffed, and I puffed, and I set my eyes to work, as sometimes we have to put in the effort to get the rewards I did get rewarded, but it feltlike getting silver rather than gold There is no doubts as a debut novel it is quite astonishing, and has one of the greatest opening sections of a novel I have probably read The sheer scope was unprecedented to me I was so enjoying the first third and kept thinking, if it carries on like this then I could be looking at top 5 ever reading material, it didn t last though Damn I thought, where are we going now , all over the bloody planet by the looks of it NO I want to go back to 1975, Mexico, to the visceral realists Sitting around all day, drinking, smoking, reading and having enough sex to put even Russell Brand to shame I mean, come on, up to fifteen orgasms a night, really , was he trying to break some sort of record of how much intercourse you could stuff into a single page talk about being smug Once we got over the early sexual escapades, the moving around in time started to drive the hell out of me, although it would seem Bolano has written a novel solely about poets, his interest in poets is not intellectual, but how they make such a mess out of their lives The two key poets in this case, Arturo Belano, a Chilean, and his Mexican friend Ulises Lima, call themselves visceral realists Their enemy is the grand Octavio Paz, a character in a bizarre scene about walking in circles in a park These neo surrealists meet in bars, steal books, sell drugs, have lovers, run a magazine, excommunicate members and feud with Mexican poets Bola o is funny and cruel about this in fighting, which stretches to Barcelona and Paris in fact where does it not stretch Belano and Lima stand out, there are the heart and sole of the novel, and predominantly live a fast paced and drugged up life on the run As they hunt the vanished Ces rea Tinajero, we try to make sense of their obscure motivations Bola o amusingly mixes up real names and literary movements, like the estridentistas, with invented ones A reader unaware of these minor poets may miss the deadly humour about literary self satisfaction and oblivion Actual poetry rarely ever comes into it, Instead, we have reports on their activities, their readings, and lovers accounts of them in bed and on the road The Savage Detectives after the first 100 pages or so is broken up into a multi fractured open diary, of various characters who may or may not have links to the pair, some by fellow travellers and others back in Mexico Bola o has a perfect ear for the Mexicans, Argentines, French and Spaniards who tell us about their brief encounters with the two poets It s as if he went globetrotting with a microphone with a few translators in tow.Bolano renounces art to become an adventurer and criminal, and self destructs The minimal mish mash of a story slowly starts to disintegrate and becomes torture for the reader, no wonder many people abandoned this But I just couldn t stop now Apart from the action in Mexico, I did enjoy the Paris sectionsthan any other The European segments come across as having an avant garde nature.Best remembered, for would be poets fed on extremists like Rimbaud and Marx a couple make love with Sade as a manual But they did not take these mentors to the conclusions Belano and Lima do, by giving up art for something never defined that seems to be willed failure and uprootedness Bola o can be savagely comic as he mocks his generation, maybe taking things a little too far in terms of ones mentality, yet equally tender when dealing with family issues and growing up.Bolano is certainly a visionary, but that doesn t necessarily mean he writes to please, the casual reader will probably hate this, maybe the hardcore reader too No doubts though some will love it I am still processing what the hell this book means to me But for now, just happy to have been part of Bola o s literary world.Final thoughts for the whole experience, it was well worth reading, but I did get lost later on One thing is for certain though, it s very, very ambitious So a pat on the back for that.3.5 5

  7. brian brian says:

    a reviewer wrote that she enjoyed Savage Detectives, but complained that it was about nothing that she read nearly 700 pages and left with this notion proves her a total jackass and describes precisely why this is a great book as with a life, Savage Detectives cannot be reduced to a few rote themes or ideas it s a messy, sprawling jackson pollock painting of a book kept at a distance from our main characters, we hear testimonials by various people who knew them through different chapters a reviewer wrote that she enjoyed Savage Detectives, but complained that it was about nothing that she read nearly 700 pages and left with this notion proves her a total jackass and describes precisely why this is a great book as with a life, Savage Detectives cannot be reduced to a few rote themes or ideas it s a messy, sprawling jackson pollock painting of a book kept at a distance from our main characters, we hear testimonials by various people who knew them through different chapters of their lives at times they appear phantom like, elusive and mysterious other times they are as real, as visceral , and physical as a pinned butterfly wriggling against a plain surface and then, as the book and their lives move along i ve read many times that this is a book about youth no it s about the glory of youth and its quick passage it s about the cycle of life youth being merely a stop along the way , and tragedy read reality darkens the picture, and some people die and others live, as some settle into lives and others wander, as some find themselves and others remain lost the accumulated effect is simply overwhelming i m buzzed from Savage Detectives i shut the book and immediately take my dog on a long walk end of day sunlight, a cool breeze, silent streets and i am high and i don t want it to go away

  8. RandomAnthony RandomAnthony says:

    My interpretation of 90% of the passages I encountered in Savage Detectives I walked around Mexico City for a while And then I sat in a coffee shop and wrote poetry for seven hours And then I saw a crazy poet I know and we argued about Octavio Paz And then I read name drop about 30 Latin American poets of whom I ve never heard And then I wanted to see Maria.But somebody who cares a lot about the history and insider references of Latin American poetry might love it I only managed 150 pages.

  9. Jenn(ifer) Jenn(ifer) says:

    I want to sum up my thoughts about this book using a quote from its pages What a shame that time passes, don t you think What a shame that we die, and get old, and everything good goes galloping away from us But that seems insufficient How about a song doesn t quite do it either How about a poem SELF PORTRAIT AT TWENTY YEARSI set off, I took up the march and never knewwhere it might take me I went full of fear,my stomach dropped, my head was bu I want to sum up my thoughts about this book using a quote from its pages What a shame that time passes, don t you think What a shame that we die, and get old, and everything good goes galloping away from us But that seems insufficient How about a song doesn t quite do it either How about a poem SELF PORTRAIT AT TWENTY YEARSI set off, I took up the march and never knewwhere it might take me I went full of fear,my stomach dropped, my head was buzzing I think it was the icy wind of the dead.I don t know I set off, I thought it was a shameto leave so soon, but at the same timeI heard that mysterious and convincing call.You either listen or you don t, and I listenedand almost burst out crying a terrible sound,born on the air and in the sea.A sword and shield And then,despite the fear, I set off, I put my cheekagainst death s cheek.And it was impossible to close my eyes and miss seeingthat strange spectacle, slow and strange,though fixed in such a swift reality thousands of guys like me, baby facedor bearded, but Latin American, all of us,brushing cheeks with death Roberto Bola oDamn it I have no way of telling you about this book My words fail me I went full of fear, my stomach dropped, my head was buzzing. This book fills me with regret I heard that mysterious and convincing call You either listen or you don t. There are so many things I wish I had done and did not do This book makes me want to write poetry This book makes me want to wander around the globe It makes me want to make friends, make enemies, make love This book makes me want to rethink my life This book

  10. Jason Jason says:

    I am so late to this party Sorry, I meant to share my review of The Savage Detectives sooner but things got sort of crazy I was enjoying a Cuba Libre at El Loto de Quintana on Avenida Guerrero near the Glorieta de Insurgentes with Ian Graye s visceral reviewers, the self proclaimed readers of the Goodreads avant garde We were discussing the poetry of Alberto Bonifaz Nu o and L pez Velarde and even the butch queer Manuel Jos de la Cruz from San Luis Potos when I noticed the waitress Jacinta R I am so late to this party Sorry, I meant to share my review of The Savage Detectives sooner but things got sort of crazy I was enjoying a Cuba Libre at El Loto de Quintana on Avenida Guerrero near the Glorieta de Insurgentes with Ian Graye s visceral reviewers, the self proclaimed readers of the Goodreads avant garde We were discussing the poetry of Alberto Bonifaz Nu o and L pez Velarde and even the butch queer Manuel Jos de la Cruz from San Luis Potos when I noticed the waitress Jacinta R bin eyeing me from behind the bar It was clear what she wanted Her English may not have been the best, but the meaning of her language required no translation I quickly ordered a shot of tequila, downed it, and followed Se orita R bin to the back storage closet The wet, sloppy blow job she gave me was amazing and I wanted to tell her I loved her but instead I cleaned myself up and left the bar through the back alleyway, wandering over toward the Encrucijada Veracruzana on Calle Bucareli in Colonia Lindavista It was there that I indulged in a fewCuba Libres, which undoubtedly caused me to receive looks of disgust from some of the other patrons, but it nonetheless strengthened my resolve to return to El Loto de Quintana When I entered the bar, I noticed that the visceral reviewers had left, but Se orita R bin was still there, and when she finished her shift she asked me to accompany her back to the first story flat she rented in the seedy part of Coyoac n reserved mostly for the city s prostitutes and drug dealers, and I went She asked me if I was a virgin and I told her no, which was a lie and I m not sure why I said it except that it felt like the right answer at the time We fucked six times between midnight and 4 a.m which must be some kind of record In the morning I returned to Calle Bucareli where the visceral reviewers were eating their breakfast, already having discussed their reviews of The Savage Detectives, but even though I am late to this party DAMN YOU, JACINTA R BIN , my entry into their collected works has been graciously accepted It is therefore time to present my review.But first, let us order an El Diablo and talk a bit about some poetryJason Morais, West Grand Avenue, Old Orchard Beach, Maine, August 2012 I remember it like it was yesterday Mary and Kris came to see me at my small studio apartment in Chapultepec where I often barricaded myself for days writing love letters and poetry to the waitress Jacinta R bin, which I never planned to send They came to ask about the three Steves The Steves had left M xico the previous year and hadn t been seen since We found this diary, Mary said, it belonged to one of the Steves, the one they called Hermano Penk I told them to sit down, offered them a drink, some Los Suicidas mezcal, a favorite of mine from a distillery that had gone out of business long before the Steves disappeared, but of which I had the sagacity to stock up on and it was only occasions like this along with my own excessive drinking when writing letters to Jacinta R bin that threatened to extinguish my supply The diary was unremarkable, a simple square book with worn edges I had never seen it before but knew what it would contain I knew it would heighten the curiosity of its reader to the whereabouts of the three Steves, and even while it may not reveal the truth, it would surely point to me as the one most likely to know it I read the diary slowly, trying to buy time and hoping to imbue myself with the fortitude to fend off questions from the young se oritas meant to ascertain what information I was not yet ready to give, information that would inevitably lead the conversation over the disappearance of the three Steves back to Jacinta R bin.This review is as much about Roberto Bola o s novel as the novel itself is about visceral realism In tribute to Jenn ifer and her style of song inclusion, here is the appropriate accompaniment to this Goodreads review

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10 thoughts on “The Savage Detectives

  1. Jessica Jessica says:

    I ll bet a lot of us walk around with some real concrete ideas about just who it is we could possibly fall in love with Maybe the specifics of our ideas change over time and even become less rigid, but still we maintain that we know on some level what it is that we want Maybe when we re nineteen, we re convinced we could only ever truly love a man with a neck tattoo who sings lead in an Oi band and has great feminist politics and knows how to cook Or maybe our criteria are purely negative, a I ll bet a lot of us walk around with some real concrete ideas about just who it is we could possibly fall in love with Maybe the specifics of our ideas change over time and even become less rigid, but still we maintain that we know on some level what it is that we want Maybe when we re nineteen, we re convinced we could only ever truly love a man with a neck tattoo who sings lead in an Oi band and has great feminist politics and knows how to cook Or maybe our criteria are purely negative, and we know for a fact that we could never love anyone who voted for Nader, who has facial hair, or is a Yankees fan, or knows about wine Perhaps once we get a little older we insist we re not picky, and maintain it is just simple common sense that we could not under any circumstances possibly fall in love with someone who uses emoticons, smokes clove cigarettes, dislikes children, has a barcode tattoo, or watches too much television We will fall in love with a person who s got great taste in literature, who has beautiful arm muscles, who also can t dance, who s memorized Repo Man and is useful in a bar fight and knows how to sign We say we re open minded, but we have these ideas We know what we want, what we are capable of falling for We sense what it is that we can love and what we cannot, in the abstract, without even trying and waiting to see.Pretty much same thing goes for books I tend to think that I know what I ll get into, just as I m pretty sure that I know what I won t I hateOn the Roadand shy away from what I perceive to be dude books or dick lit or anything too scenestery or self consciously literary For these reasons and , I really wouldn t think that I d particularly go for a longish, fairly plotless novel about a group of drunk, shaggy haired, pot smoking poets hanging out and getting laid all the time and bouncing around Latin America, Europe, and other sundry continents In fact, this thumbnail description is sort of the book equivalent of the right wing, cigar smoking pharmaceutical rep blind date who loves jam bands I would not have gone out with Roberto Bola o in a million years based on my google stalking his myspace page, if my friend s girlfriend and my coworker and my roommate s friend and the chick who cut my hair hadn t all happened to know him in one way or another and all universally insisted that I give this guy a shot.And whaddaya know old spinster Jessica, swept off her feet This was like when you find a guy who s cute but wearing sandals and a really ugly Hardrock Cafe tee shirt and has long, scruffly hair and listens to Latin Jazz and is really into capoeira and rock climbing like really into capoeira and rock climbing and you go over to his house and realize he owns no books, except like three Kurt Vonnegut paperbacks and maybe The Outlaw Poetry Anthology and a hardcover of Guns, Germs, and Steel that his aunt gave him for Christmas six years ago and which of course he never opened because he hasn t read a book since high school but then you go out into his backyard and both climb up into the tree there, and he makes you laugh a lot for some reason, and then you stay up until 6 am drinking ginger ale and talking about life, and then awhile after the sun comes up you both go to bed, and he doesn t even have blankets he has a sleeping bag even though he s actually almost thirty years old, but suddenly you don t care about that any, and pretty soon you re walking around in his baggy Hardrock Cafe tee shirt and sandals because you lost one of your shoes and your own clothes are too dirty to wear any since you haven t been home in a week and you re so stoned out of your mind just from being around him that you start to think that tee shirt is actually kind of cool, and anyway, it smells like him, and him is the best smell that you ve ever smelt, the best idea you ve ever even thought of, if that makes sense, which of course it doesn t, because at this point you re gone.I already lent my copy out to a friend, which makes getting into specificsdifficult but should recommend the book on its own If I remember correctly the affair is already a bit of a blur , this book has three main parts The first and last are the diary entries of a seventeen year old student with incredible stamina who s living in late seventies Mexico City, who gets caught up with the emerging visceral realist poetry moment The huge middle portion sandwiched by the kid s diary entries is a series of depositions or anecdotes, or monologues, or whatever they are taken over three decades from characters whose paths have crossed, on one continent or another, those of the founders of visceral realism the infamous poets Ulises Lima and Arturo Belano.The quantity of characters here is a bit Dickensian Russian i.e., ridiculous , and I d actually started making a list of them in the back flap, which I sort of recommend doing because it can get slightly confusing at times However, the fact that making such a cheat sheet isn t strictly necessary is a testament to this guy s skill as a writer His characters are distinctive from one another, and all speak in the author s style and yet also in their own recognizable and totally enthralling voices Ay, those voices This book changed the way I felt about that whole talking to the camera device in fiction This can work, and over, its effect can be incredible This is how people honestly are, or maybe it s just how I want them to be.The way Bola o writes about women is one of the reasons why I was able to give myself over so fully to this novel While the world and characters described are far from egalitarian, I felt that the author took his female characters very seriously, and was equally adept at writing from a male or female perspective This is a gift I maintain is fairly rare, and it really helped counter my impression that this was a dude novel At the same time, I really liked the way he wrote about sex from a male perspective This book is hot I mean, parts of it are This guy can write a sex scene, that s all I m saying I mean, you might not agree, in which case you ll probably think I m weird But whatever, I m just calling it like I see it Jeez Leave me alone In any case, The Savage Detectives restored my somewhat agnostic faith in narrative, fictional characters, and humanity in general This book was incredibly beautiful It really was I know I should come up with a better way to put that, but unfortunately that s all I got if you want to read something wonderfully phrased, I suggest you jump ship on my review and grab yourself some Bola o Again, I wish I had a better way to say this, but The Savage Detectives caught some breathing, squirming, hot blooded aspect of the experience of living, and bottled it for convenient distribution and mass consumption during dull moments such as train rides For me, this book justified the importance of language by reminding us of the reason why it exists as a form of expression and communication, as the medium which makes sense of our experience and helps the pain of living seem like something worth freaking out about in a grand and desperately passionate fashion.If I werethe type of girl to hand out five star reviews, I d have given one gratefully to The Savage Detectives This novel singlehandedly transformed the way I felt about commuting, and I m a little terrified by the prospect of returning to the subway not to mention my life now that I m done with it It s been awhile since I was this instantly and consistently caught up in a book There was no getting to know you period I was immersed right away in the first few pages, and my interest never waned all the way through to its thoroughly satisfying close There were no missteps in here, no off notes or dull parts or things that I felt were wrong or missing Was it high passion It wasn t high passion I don t think this is the greatest thing I ve ever read, and I m still really not sure what was so wonderful about it, or why everyone else on here went so bananas over The Savage Detectives. I just know that for some reason, I did kind of fall in love with this book.I think falling in love is the answer you get when you solve for a special, specific equation of familiarity and surprise Falling in love is the recognition of yourself in someone else, shot through with a foreignness that shocks you with something beyond what you d ever be capable of doing or imagining alone Reading this book felt just like that to me Falling in love, like reading great fiction, means trusting someone enough to let that person take your hand and then lead you gently, firmly, adoringly, right off a cliff The Savage Detectives did exactly this, and at the end of the day, that s all I want

  2. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    Since there are so many fantastic reviews of The Savage Detectives, I thought I would offer a slightly different approach as per below In Part 1, the first person narrator, seventeen year old Juan Garcia Madero, tells us right off he is reading the erotic fiction of Pierre Louys incidentally, one of Louys s novels was made into a Luis Bu uel film That Obscure Object of Desire Also, the way Juan speaks of the visceral realists, a group of wild avant garde poets where young Juan is a member, Since there are so many fantastic reviews of The Savage Detectives, I thought I would offer a slightly different approach as per below In Part 1, the first person narrator, seventeen year old Juan Garcia Madero, tells us right off he is reading the erotic fiction of Pierre Louys incidentally, one of Louys s novels was made into a Luis Bu uel film That Obscure Object of Desire Also, the way Juan speaks of the visceral realists, a group of wild avant garde poets where young Juan is a member, reminded me of another group the League, a secret society in Hermann Hesse s The Journey to the East I enjoy how Juan will list the authors various poets, novelists, short story writers, essayists he comes across as his meanders through Mexico City For example when he goes into room of one of the visceral realists, Luscious Skin what a name , he spots a stack of books, one by Auguste Monterroso Turns out, this author wrote one of my favorite short stories Mr Taylor about an American anthropologist who goes to a Central American country to live with a forest tribe He sends the tribe s shrunken heads back to the US and makes a fortune The demand for shrunken heads skyrockets but the tribe runs out Well, the government finds out and, along with the anthropologist, comes up with some great plans to cash in on shrunken heads How Let me just say that if you are a poor person living in that country, you had better watch out Anyway, associations like this make for rich, provocative reading Poetic Novelist RBYoung Juan s life in Mexico City is filled to the brim with young women and sexual encounters, conversations about poets and poetry and magazines, lots of coffee and marijuana, but through it all Juan is a kindred spirit to that narrator of Journey to the East, when Hesse s seeker says, For our goal was not only the East, or rather the East was not only a country or something geographical, but it was the home and youth of the soul, it was everywhere and nowhere, it was the union of all times Juan has a strong sense his true home is his poetic voice and, in a way, the visceral realists is his league I must say reading about the two worlds of Juan s life the nitty gritty of everyday Mexico City and the light filled realm of poetry is most refreshing.Then, at one point, when Juan goes into a caf We read, After dark I went back and found Jacinto Requena dying of boredom None of the visceral realists except for him, he said, were showing their faces at the caf Everybody was afraid of running into Arturo Belano, though their fears were unwarranted since the Chelean hadn t been there in days According to Requena, Arturo Belano had begun to kickpoets out of the group You have to love a seventeen year old who is having sex left and right but still has his eye and poetic soul on his ray of light, his league of fellow questers, the visceral realists And you have to admire an author who can splay himself into multiple characters within a novel Roberto Bola o The Poet and Novelist as a Young ManAnd, thank goodness there are some sensitive seventeen year old souls who experience life as an artistic odyssey The printing of this novel could have been set in gold And perhaps a few pages coated with hallucinogens so the reader could lick the pages from time to time this is one of the techniques used by a short story writer in Moacyr Sclair s The Short Story Writers.When we come to Part 2, there are multiple adult men and women first person narrators who relate their experience with the visceral realists and Latin American poetry TheI turned the pages, theI was drawn into a mythic dimension of time Such an uplifting, energizing experience to enter a world where the spirit and power of poetry is the polestar And not only a poetic reaching up, as if the night sky contained a thousand poems for every star, but deep, deep down into the earth Here are a few of my favorite lines, where Venezuelan poet Amadeo Salvatierra relates a conversation with his father and a friend riding through the country outside Mexico City He said that there was probably some pyramid lying buried under our landdeep underground there must be lots of pyramids My father didn t say anything From the darkness of the backseat, I asked him why he thought that He didn t answer Then we started to talk of other things but I kept wondering why he d say that about the pyramids Of course, there were pyramids at Teotihuacan, the pre Columbian Mesoamerican city thirty miles outside present day Mexico City I wouldn t want to press the point too hard, but pyramids bring to mind inner depths of the psyche The Jungian analyst Robert Moore talks a great deal of the archetypal pyramid each of us carries in our collective unconscious the four sides are king queen, warrior, lover and, magician, the magician being that part most directly connected to imagination, creativity, the inner quest and spiritual transformation In traditional societies, those profoundly in touch with magician energy would be chosen to be shamans in our modern, civilized world, the role of shaman is inhabited by, among others, artists and poets It is this magician power the narrators are in touch with as they move through their days and nights, their conversations and writing and reading of poems Here is a reflection from one of the narrators, an Argentinian poet, as he is walking in Mexico City with a Mexican poet and a Chilean poet The three of us were quiet, as if we d been struck dumb, but our bodies moved to a beat, as if something was propelling us through that strange land and making us dance, a silent, syncopated kind of walking, if I can call it that, and then I had a vision, not the first that day, as it happened, or the last the park we were walking through opened up into a kind of lake and the lake opened up into a kind of waterfall and the waterfall became a river that flowed through a kind of cemetery, and all of it, lake, waterfall, river, cemetery, was deep green and silent Young Juan makes his return in Part 3 After all the poetic voices and multiple journeys across many lands in Part 2, we have a deeper appreciation of Juan as a member of the visceral realists And, my word, what a book The Savage Detectives, a novel about those wild, ferocious, half crazed men and woman driven to mythic, intoxicating summits by the carnival of words and the Latino rhythms of their poetry 650 pages of breathtaking magic

  3. Kris Kris says:

    I am struggling over writing this review The Savage Detectives has become an important book to me, and I m trying to find the best way to put a whole series of associations, emotions, and thoughts into words about how it has entered into my life and mind and heart I have a tendency to hide behind a lot of formal analysis when I am writing, but I don t think that approach is good enough for this review I just met a close friend from graduate school for dinner last week he now lives in San Fr I am struggling over writing this review The Savage Detectives has become an important book to me, and I m trying to find the best way to put a whole series of associations, emotions, and thoughts into words about how it has entered into my life and mind and heart I have a tendency to hide behind a lot of formal analysis when I am writing, but I don t think that approach is good enough for this review I just met a close friend from graduate school for dinner last week he now lives in San Francisco, and we don t get to see each other all that often We entered the restaurant soaking wet from a tropical style thunderstorm that hit just as we got out of the cab As we were drying off courtesy of a pile of extra napkins that the sympathetic host gave us , we reconnected with each other as if no time had passed since we navigating the highs and lows of graduate school together It was the 1990s, and we were like sponges, soaking up ideas and books and movies and good meals together We were politically active too, campaigning together to elect Clinton, writing a parody of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas to try to shake off the sting of the 1994 US elections that swept Gingrich and a wave of other Republicans into the House, and commiserating with each other over the latest offensive legislative initiative It was an exciting, scary, enthralling time to be alive.As I was talking with my friend over old times and new, our conversation kept resonating with The Savage Detectives In our mid 40 s, we were looking back across our lives, with affection for our younger selves, but also with understanding over how we had grown and changed over the years, and how the world had changed with us In The Savage Detectives, as Bola o pays homage to his younger self and his comrades in poetry, there s a maturity and wisdom mixed in with the affection, humor, excitement, and sadness that he brings to his exploration of the Visceral Realists, who came together to form an artistic political counter cultural movement in Mexico City in the 1970s, similar to the Infrarealist movement that Bola o belonged to Bola o represents himself through two characters in the novel Juan Garc a Madero, a young, naive student who navigates sexual, artistic, and emotional transitions and rites of passage, and Arturo Belano who, along with Ulises Lima, heads up the Visceral Realists, a group of young poets who are striving to forward political and artistic aims through their poetry The novel is structured around three sections a first and a third section narrated by Juan through diary entries, and a long second section, in which Visceral Realists and their friends, family members, associates, and enemies come together to tell their story through interviews or oral histories There are many themes you can explore through the novel the Latin American poetry scene, the formation of youth cultures and countercultures, gender relations, sexuality, and rites of passage, the split between ideals and reality, how friends grow up, grow apart, and sometimes re connect To me, though, what I take from the novelthan anything else is a re immersion in the excitement of youth, with its discoveries, explorations, complications, and questions There s a dynamism throughout the novel, and while Bola o is willing to poke gentle fun at himself, he also recaptures the excitement, energy, and ideals that fueled the Visceral Realists There is another personal and special meaning of The Savage Detectives for me I joined a Goodreads group read moderated by Ian Graye see In a short period of time, through discussions of the novel, posts of music we loved, and some very creative collaborative interviews, we formed a tight knot group of fellow adventurers I am grateful that everyone was so welcoming to me, a relative newcomer The group exhibited camaraderie, warmth, creativity, intelligence and humor I can t imagine a better group to have read The Savage Detectives with, or a better novel to have read with this group Many thanks to all of you for a truly special experience It s worth coming out from behind my barrier of academic analysis to say that

  4. s.penkevich s.penkevich says:

    Youth is a scam Roberto Bola o 1953 2003 created a very special novel with The Savage Detectives The novel is constantly moving, grinding slowly across the years steady and sure as a freight train, carrying the baggage of our existence towards the inevitable finality of life During the course of my reading, people would misinterpret the title and tell me they enjoyed a good crime thriller and inquire into the plot of the book I clutched lovingly in my hands While this is no whodunnit nov Youth is a scam Roberto Bola o 1953 2003 created a very special novel with The Savage Detectives The novel is constantly moving, grinding slowly across the years steady and sure as a freight train, carrying the baggage of our existence towards the inevitable finality of life During the course of my reading, people would misinterpret the title and tell me they enjoyed a good crime thriller and inquire into the plot of the book I clutched lovingly in my hands While this is no whodunnit novel, it is still an investigation of sorts formed primarily through a series of interviews that leave the truth up to the reader to deduce These various perspectives provide anything from glowing reports to unflattering dismissals of the major characters as their lives intertwine These perspectives form an ever expanding collage of lost souls floating across Europe and the Americas They occasionally collide and leave their mark upon one another and redirecting the course of their lives for better or for worse.The novel begins with the youth and youthful aspirations of young Hispanic poets As is the common folly of youth, they believe firmly in their still forming convictions and have yet to embrace the truths of their own mortality, thus believing in an impenetrable immortality that they will construct of themselves by etching their mark upon the literary scene and politics of Mexico As the timeline expands, we see often these lofty ideals falter, the bonds of friendship fizzle and their efforts fail, and the reader is reminded of their own mortality and the uncertainties that lie ahead of them That sharp flint which we would plunge into the beating heart of the world is chipped through our battles for selfhood and dulled by the temoltous seas of life seas comprised of changing tides and hostile currents that toss us about at will, shattering dreams, friendships and romances upon the rocks Not only is it the personal lives of the characters, but the whole of Mexico itself is thrashed and ravaged as time marches on The sad state of the characters are representative of the state of their nation, and vice versa We are all connected through each other, and through our homeland We can all be dragged down together if we are not careful.Life is fragile and our goals are evenfragile Yet, still we have to press on We must adapt and produce in order to not be effaced from the memory of the world Many of these characters are able to, and we are treated to the advice and stories of those who make it in the literary scene However, it is those who never reach the peak that are ultimately the heroes of this novel Through poetry, they attempt this immortality, this cup of eternal life they so seek If it is not through poetry, then they strive towards criticism and translations Is reaching for immortality through the arts the answer Inaki Exhevarne offers this discouraging impression on the arts and criticism For a while, Criticism travels side by side with the Work, then Criticism vanishes and it s the Readers who keep pace The journey may be long or short Then the Readers die one by one and the Work continues on alone, although a new Criticism and new Readers gradually fall into step with it along its path Then Criticism dies again and the Readers die again and the Work passes over a trail of bones on its journey toward solitude To come near the work, to sail in her wake, is a sign of certain death, but new Criticism and new Readers approach her tirelessly and relentlessly and are devoured by time and speed Finally the Work journeys irremediably alone in the Great Vastness And one day the Work dies, as all things must die and come to an end the Sun and the Earth and the Solar System and the Galaxy and the farthest reaches of man s memory Everything that begins as comedy ends in tragedy. This ultimately makes one feel awkward even writing a review of this book, as it acknowledges that I too must become a permanent fixture in the trail of bones The only way out is to hitch a ride on the Work, to be the name attached to the eternal manuscript even though we still must face Death Despite all this bleakness, Bola o offers a bright outcome It is curious that a novel about poets is relatively devoid of poetic works There are a few samples of older, famous pieces, including an extensive reference to Theodore Sturgeon s short story When You Care, When You Love, but the reader never gets to sample the actual poetry of the Visceral Realists Then, the true poetry is the actual lives of the characters Life itself is the poetic beauty in the world, and it is through our interactions with others that we find immortality Those we encounter become our readers, and through their stories and perspectives they carry on our legacy They interpret our proverbial footprints in the sand for all those who would seek them Felipe M ller s recounting 0f the Sturgeon story told to him by Belano gives us a glimpse into the sort of immortality granted by the encounters with others It is an exercise in infinity The number of people we encounter is constantly growing, hurtling towards an infinite number of people our simple existence affects Many of the characters stories in Savage Detectives have only small references to the major players, Belano and Ulises, but even they take something away from these encounters that will pass through them and their actions into the people they subsequently interact with We occasionally play a large role in the lives of others, but even our smallest roles can be told Think of the cashier you annoyed by buying cigarettes in all change guilty , or the waiter you left an extra generous tip to They may have later told of the small encounter later especially in the case that you annoyed or enraged them, but hey, if Bola o is accurate, it s just a step towards immortality or at least unflattering notoriety Each individual perspective is unique from everyone else s of a person, Each encounter bounces off, sometimes revealing positives and sometimes revealing flaws, and the summation of these perspectives, this penumbra of those around us, form the picture of a person Theperspectives, theaccurate and clear the image In a way, it is like pixels in a picture The novel could have been told from a perspective closer to Ulises and Belano, but through all the various perspectives we get a well rounded idea of who they are, and also learn the lives and aspirations of all those they meet Bola o does a magnificent job creating a diverse cast of characters whose eyes the reader can peer through The voices don t ever become stale, however when compared tochameleon like writers such as David Mitchell of which I ve been gushing over for months now and can t help but use as a yardstick for all other authors, a bitdiversity in the voices would have been a nice touch Still, the effect is pulled off expertly and there are a number of unique voices to soak up Quim offers a truly surreal depiction of the world around him, Barbara is hilariously vulgar, the optimism of the hippy hitchhiker and the amazing chapter of Heimito told in an obfuscating style that reminded me of Faulker s Benjy The rotation of these voices keeps the novel fresh and exciting, and the multiple vantage points on key situations, such as the duel, help pull the reader into the situation and make them feel as if they were there in three dimensions smelling the surf and feeling the sand beneath their feet If I may, I m going to switch from intellect to inebriate for a moment intellect being a term I ve shamelessly and unwarrantedly bestowed upon myself, but it made for some fun word play This novel came at the right time in my life, and allowed me to examine the bonds that tie us to reality A novel like this makes one question their lives, their choices, and really evaluate themselves and value those around them It may be a bit clich d now, but this novel felt to me similar to how On the Road did to me as an impressionable teen I credit many of the traits of my silly puddy teenage personality to my experience with that novel One look at my young college days at MSU, arriving at parties with a cigarette between my lips, guzzling a jug of wine while wearing a flannel shirt and drunkenly ranting about Buddhism, poetry, and the inescapable sadness that provides the true beauty of life, and I might as well have the books title tattooed on my spine It worked at the time, but this is the sort of life we have to let go of lest we become pathetic Savage Detectives takes this sort of ideals and displays them further on down the road The book is rather sad in that it shows how fickle people are towards their goodtime friends Once Ulises and Belano take off, the tight knit group relatively forgets them Some could care less when they return The ephemeral moments we with could last forever are just a brilliant burning flame that will be extinguished We can keep it in our heart and immortalize it through epic retellings, but we can t expect time to stand still If we do, it will trample us on its march to the future I miss my old friends, but I have good ones now too, just a lower number of them due to societal constraints on my time In the past few years I ve left behind my home, my friends and family, to live several hours away and have noticed how true this book is There are good friends I ve now lost touch with, and people that I m sure have forgotten me We all have lives and responsibilities, and when someone isn t immediately present, it is understandable that current issues will elbow their way into the vacant spot The reading of this book in a GR group made a sort of metagroup considering the ideas expressed in the book, and made me really value the discussions and friendships that have been formed on this site Thank you everyone There was a time when I took trains around the Midwest and crashed on couches in Tennessee, but now those are just stories that I hope when others tell them that I appear as a positive and amiable figure in The Kerouac days are over, but what Road was to my youth, Savage Detectives is to my present state in my mid twenties I hope to learn from this book and always remember that our immortality comes through our interactions with others I want to live to the fullest, and to strive to be a positive figure in the stories that will one day be told If you made it this far, thank you for listening to me vomit up some overly sentimental ramblings Don t judge too harshly Savage Detectives is an incredible investigation into the lives of the Visceral Realist, a group based upon actual people in Bolano s life It paints a well rounded portrait of these key figures and reminds us that life is always fluctuating, for better or for worse, as it inches closer to our inevitable deaths This book comes together quite nicely He leaves us with an empowering message that the world outside our window is ours to shape It is a world of infinite possibility Just don t let it shape you Also, it was moving to see the mother of Visceral Realism defend the later generations like a lion to her cubs Despite all the frailties of friendship, the human bond will not break or shake in the face of death, and we see good always strive to conquer evil We all end up as the bones that the eternal Works will step over, but even bones have their story to tell May we all face the stars and the depths of eternity together Everything that begins as comedy ends as as bittersweet memoriesBest enjoyed with a bottle of Tecate or Modelo on a hot summer s day.5 5 my original posting of this review years ago was 4 out of 5, but as time goes on this one has grown so much in my heart that I had to give it the full five.Thanks to everyone in the Cabbage Detectives group led by Don Juan Ian I would encourage anyone to please read their wonderful reviews, as each perspective brings this novel into clearer focus.In no particular order Ian IferKris Scholar MikeMaryJa y Rubin sonSeanPrajAndto come

  5. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    In this quasi autobiographical story, a group of intense young poets, men and women, knock around in mid 1970 s Mexico City Their lives are poetry reading it, writing poems, trying to get them published in fly by night literary magazines that only they read The intensity of their love for poetry is disarming They exist in odd hours, wander aimlessly through the city, drink, make love, steal books from bookstores, and talk poetry constantly As they get older they become migr s in Europe, ma In this quasi autobiographical story, a group of intense young poets, men and women, knock around in mid 1970 s Mexico City Their lives are poetry reading it, writing poems, trying to get them published in fly by night literary magazines that only they read The intensity of their love for poetry is disarming They exist in odd hours, wander aimlessly through the city, drink, make love, steal books from bookstores, and talk poetry constantly As they get older they become migr s in Europe, mainly in Paris and Barcelona, but also in Germany, Israel and Africa This is Jack Kerouac s story if he had been a Latin American The book is structured in three parts The first part is their youth in Mexico City where a group of them free a woman from her pimp and flee to the northwestern Mexican desert in search of a perhaps mythical woman poet They are chased by the pimp and the police The last section of the book is the conclusion of this story The middle half of the book is a series of 4 and 5 page vignettes by folks who knew these poets throughout their lives Some parents friends, acquaintances and distant relatives who fed and housed them ex girlfriends and boyfriends wealthy Latin Americans who lived in Europe, maybe knew their parents, and found them on their doorsteps old poets who welcomed them into their homes book dealers who knew the poets were sealing books from them.Bolano is master of the startling, flat statement I don t get many visitors, just my daughter and a woman and another girl who said she was my daughter too, and who was remarkably pretty But most of the time she didn t have serious problems For a moment I thought he was going to cry, but suddenly, before he said anything, I realized that I d be the one who cried I thought that if I died Arturo would know everything I hadn t told him and would understand it without having to hear it from my lips it s as if I m still dreaming and I can t wake up, although you might think that Latin Americans were less affected by horror than anyone else, at least in theory A woman chases her would be rapist with a knife, stops at a cemetery to watch a child s casket lowered into a grave and then goes to meet a friend for drinks Bolano was a Chilean who lived mainly in Mexico and Spain He died at age 50 in 2003 while waiting for a liver transplant After his early death, Bolano s fame skyrocketed and this book, in particular, has contributed to what his fans have called Bolanomania He was of the second generation that arose after Latin American literature burst on the international scene after World War II thanks to the work of Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Julio Cortazar and Gabriel Garcia Marquez I also reviewed Bolano s short novel, The Skating Rink, set near Barcelona Revised 1 14 2017

  6. Steven Godin Steven Godin says:

    This novel has caused me great distress not so much reading, but trying to figure out just how many of those little stars to dish out I could have opted for a measly two because when it dragged me by the feet into a room of boredom the middle third it decided to drag big time, only to drag someAAAHHH, let me out , can t take anyBut as a stubborn individual there was no way this was going to beat me, I huffed, and I puffed, and I set my eyes to work, as sometimes we have to This novel has caused me great distress not so much reading, but trying to figure out just how many of those little stars to dish out I could have opted for a measly two because when it dragged me by the feet into a room of boredom the middle third it decided to drag big time, only to drag someAAAHHH, let me out , can t take anyBut as a stubborn individual there was no way this was going to beat me, I huffed, and I puffed, and I set my eyes to work, as sometimes we have to put in the effort to get the rewards I did get rewarded, but it feltlike getting silver rather than gold There is no doubts as a debut novel it is quite astonishing, and has one of the greatest opening sections of a novel I have probably read The sheer scope was unprecedented to me I was so enjoying the first third and kept thinking, if it carries on like this then I could be looking at top 5 ever reading material, it didn t last though Damn I thought, where are we going now , all over the bloody planet by the looks of it NO I want to go back to 1975, Mexico, to the visceral realists Sitting around all day, drinking, smoking, reading and having enough sex to put even Russell Brand to shame I mean, come on, up to fifteen orgasms a night, really , was he trying to break some sort of record of how much intercourse you could stuff into a single page talk about being smug Once we got over the early sexual escapades, the moving around in time started to drive the hell out of me, although it would seem Bolano has written a novel solely about poets, his interest in poets is not intellectual, but how they make such a mess out of their lives The two key poets in this case, Arturo Belano, a Chilean, and his Mexican friend Ulises Lima, call themselves visceral realists Their enemy is the grand Octavio Paz, a character in a bizarre scene about walking in circles in a park These neo surrealists meet in bars, steal books, sell drugs, have lovers, run a magazine, excommunicate members and feud with Mexican poets Bola o is funny and cruel about this in fighting, which stretches to Barcelona and Paris in fact where does it not stretch Belano and Lima stand out, there are the heart and sole of the novel, and predominantly live a fast paced and drugged up life on the run As they hunt the vanished Ces rea Tinajero, we try to make sense of their obscure motivations Bola o amusingly mixes up real names and literary movements, like the estridentistas, with invented ones A reader unaware of these minor poets may miss the deadly humour about literary self satisfaction and oblivion Actual poetry rarely ever comes into it, Instead, we have reports on their activities, their readings, and lovers accounts of them in bed and on the road The Savage Detectives after the first 100 pages or so is broken up into a multi fractured open diary, of various characters who may or may not have links to the pair, some by fellow travellers and others back in Mexico Bola o has a perfect ear for the Mexicans, Argentines, French and Spaniards who tell us about their brief encounters with the two poets It s as if he went globetrotting with a microphone with a few translators in tow.Bolano renounces art to become an adventurer and criminal, and self destructs The minimal mish mash of a story slowly starts to disintegrate and becomes torture for the reader, no wonder many people abandoned this But I just couldn t stop now Apart from the action in Mexico, I did enjoy the Paris sectionsthan any other The European segments come across as having an avant garde nature.Best remembered, for would be poets fed on extremists like Rimbaud and Marx a couple make love with Sade as a manual But they did not take these mentors to the conclusions Belano and Lima do, by giving up art for something never defined that seems to be willed failure and uprootedness Bola o can be savagely comic as he mocks his generation, maybe taking things a little too far in terms of ones mentality, yet equally tender when dealing with family issues and growing up.Bolano is certainly a visionary, but that doesn t necessarily mean he writes to please, the casual reader will probably hate this, maybe the hardcore reader too No doubts though some will love it I am still processing what the hell this book means to me But for now, just happy to have been part of Bola o s literary world.Final thoughts for the whole experience, it was well worth reading, but I did get lost later on One thing is for certain though, it s very, very ambitious So a pat on the back for that.3.5 5

  7. brian brian says:

    a reviewer wrote that she enjoyed Savage Detectives, but complained that it was about nothing that she read nearly 700 pages and left with this notion proves her a total jackass and describes precisely why this is a great book as with a life, Savage Detectives cannot be reduced to a few rote themes or ideas it s a messy, sprawling jackson pollock painting of a book kept at a distance from our main characters, we hear testimonials by various people who knew them through different chapters a reviewer wrote that she enjoyed Savage Detectives, but complained that it was about nothing that she read nearly 700 pages and left with this notion proves her a total jackass and describes precisely why this is a great book as with a life, Savage Detectives cannot be reduced to a few rote themes or ideas it s a messy, sprawling jackson pollock painting of a book kept at a distance from our main characters, we hear testimonials by various people who knew them through different chapters of their lives at times they appear phantom like, elusive and mysterious other times they are as real, as visceral , and physical as a pinned butterfly wriggling against a plain surface and then, as the book and their lives move along i ve read many times that this is a book about youth no it s about the glory of youth and its quick passage it s about the cycle of life youth being merely a stop along the way , and tragedy read reality darkens the picture, and some people die and others live, as some settle into lives and others wander, as some find themselves and others remain lost the accumulated effect is simply overwhelming i m buzzed from Savage Detectives i shut the book and immediately take my dog on a long walk end of day sunlight, a cool breeze, silent streets and i am high and i don t want it to go away

  8. RandomAnthony RandomAnthony says:

    My interpretation of 90% of the passages I encountered in Savage Detectives I walked around Mexico City for a while And then I sat in a coffee shop and wrote poetry for seven hours And then I saw a crazy poet I know and we argued about Octavio Paz And then I read name drop about 30 Latin American poets of whom I ve never heard And then I wanted to see Maria.But somebody who cares a lot about the history and insider references of Latin American poetry might love it I only managed 150 pages.

  9. Jenn(ifer) Jenn(ifer) says:

    I want to sum up my thoughts about this book using a quote from its pages What a shame that time passes, don t you think What a shame that we die, and get old, and everything good goes galloping away from us But that seems insufficient How about a song doesn t quite do it either How about a poem SELF PORTRAIT AT TWENTY YEARSI set off, I took up the march and never knewwhere it might take me I went full of fear,my stomach dropped, my head was bu I want to sum up my thoughts about this book using a quote from its pages What a shame that time passes, don t you think What a shame that we die, and get old, and everything good goes galloping away from us But that seems insufficient How about a song doesn t quite do it either How about a poem SELF PORTRAIT AT TWENTY YEARSI set off, I took up the march and never knewwhere it might take me I went full of fear,my stomach dropped, my head was buzzing I think it was the icy wind of the dead.I don t know I set off, I thought it was a shameto leave so soon, but at the same timeI heard that mysterious and convincing call.You either listen or you don t, and I listenedand almost burst out crying a terrible sound,born on the air and in the sea.A sword and shield And then,despite the fear, I set off, I put my cheekagainst death s cheek.And it was impossible to close my eyes and miss seeingthat strange spectacle, slow and strange,though fixed in such a swift reality thousands of guys like me, baby facedor bearded, but Latin American, all of us,brushing cheeks with death Roberto Bola oDamn it I have no way of telling you about this book My words fail me I went full of fear, my stomach dropped, my head was buzzing. This book fills me with regret I heard that mysterious and convincing call You either listen or you don t. There are so many things I wish I had done and did not do This book makes me want to write poetry This book makes me want to wander around the globe It makes me want to make friends, make enemies, make love This book makes me want to rethink my life This book

  10. Jason Jason says:

    I am so late to this party Sorry, I meant to share my review of The Savage Detectives sooner but things got sort of crazy I was enjoying a Cuba Libre at El Loto de Quintana on Avenida Guerrero near the Glorieta de Insurgentes with Ian Graye s visceral reviewers, the self proclaimed readers of the Goodreads avant garde We were discussing the poetry of Alberto Bonifaz Nu o and L pez Velarde and even the butch queer Manuel Jos de la Cruz from San Luis Potos when I noticed the waitress Jacinta R I am so late to this party Sorry, I meant to share my review of The Savage Detectives sooner but things got sort of crazy I was enjoying a Cuba Libre at El Loto de Quintana on Avenida Guerrero near the Glorieta de Insurgentes with Ian Graye s visceral reviewers, the self proclaimed readers of the Goodreads avant garde We were discussing the poetry of Alberto Bonifaz Nu o and L pez Velarde and even the butch queer Manuel Jos de la Cruz from San Luis Potos when I noticed the waitress Jacinta R bin eyeing me from behind the bar It was clear what she wanted Her English may not have been the best, but the meaning of her language required no translation I quickly ordered a shot of tequila, downed it, and followed Se orita R bin to the back storage closet The wet, sloppy blow job she gave me was amazing and I wanted to tell her I loved her but instead I cleaned myself up and left the bar through the back alleyway, wandering over toward the Encrucijada Veracruzana on Calle Bucareli in Colonia Lindavista It was there that I indulged in a fewCuba Libres, which undoubtedly caused me to receive looks of disgust from some of the other patrons, but it nonetheless strengthened my resolve to return to El Loto de Quintana When I entered the bar, I noticed that the visceral reviewers had left, but Se orita R bin was still there, and when she finished her shift she asked me to accompany her back to the first story flat she rented in the seedy part of Coyoac n reserved mostly for the city s prostitutes and drug dealers, and I went She asked me if I was a virgin and I told her no, which was a lie and I m not sure why I said it except that it felt like the right answer at the time We fucked six times between midnight and 4 a.m which must be some kind of record In the morning I returned to Calle Bucareli where the visceral reviewers were eating their breakfast, already having discussed their reviews of The Savage Detectives, but even though I am late to this party DAMN YOU, JACINTA R BIN , my entry into their collected works has been graciously accepted It is therefore time to present my review.But first, let us order an El Diablo and talk a bit about some poetryJason Morais, West Grand Avenue, Old Orchard Beach, Maine, August 2012 I remember it like it was yesterday Mary and Kris came to see me at my small studio apartment in Chapultepec where I often barricaded myself for days writing love letters and poetry to the waitress Jacinta R bin, which I never planned to send They came to ask about the three Steves The Steves had left M xico the previous year and hadn t been seen since We found this diary, Mary said, it belonged to one of the Steves, the one they called Hermano Penk I told them to sit down, offered them a drink, some Los Suicidas mezcal, a favorite of mine from a distillery that had gone out of business long before the Steves disappeared, but of which I had the sagacity to stock up on and it was only occasions like this along with my own excessive drinking when writing letters to Jacinta R bin that threatened to extinguish my supply The diary was unremarkable, a simple square book with worn edges I had never seen it before but knew what it would contain I knew it would heighten the curiosity of its reader to the whereabouts of the three Steves, and even while it may not reveal the truth, it would surely point to me as the one most likely to know it I read the diary slowly, trying to buy time and hoping to imbue myself with the fortitude to fend off questions from the young se oritas meant to ascertain what information I was not yet ready to give, information that would inevitably lead the conversation over the disappearance of the three Steves back to Jacinta R bin.This review is as much about Roberto Bola o s novel as the novel itself is about visceral realism In tribute to Jenn ifer and her style of song inclusion, here is the appropriate accompaniment to this Goodreads review

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