The Savage Detectives. Roberto Bolao (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The Savage Detectives astounds. A thriller set in the midst of an underground poetry movement featuring outlaw heroes who pass the time quizzing each other on structural terms of classical verse, it expertly balances seemingly incompatible tendencies. It is a book steeped in politics that manages to remain fervently anti-political; at once cultured and coarse; absolutely compelling but improbably tedious in places; decidedly omitting of all verse. Bolano called The Savage Detectives a “love letter” to his generation that came of age in the 60s and 70s – idealists fueled on art, sex, and drugs, for which the aesthetic quest, for the distillation of the meaning of life through art was urgent and essential. Yet the dissolution of these ideals through the poets’ descent into quotidian hazards (pettiness, debauchery, a daily living, the pretensions of the literary elite) provides the novel’s central conflict: a reminder that Literature (indeed all Art), despite its ambitions, can never attain its goal. Should we continue to search? If it provides the intellectual thrills of this brilliant novel, the answer is a resounding YES.

— Sara, Atlanta

Product Details
ISBN: 9780330509527
Publisher: Picador USA
Publication Date: January 1st, 2010