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Roberto Bolano
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Latin American
The Savage Detectives
 
 
Author
Roberto Bolano. Natasha Wimmer, trans.
Publisher Picador  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 7.75 x 5.1 x 1.6 inches
ISBN 9781447202851
Pages/Publication Date 616/2012
Daedalus Item Code 33611
This item is not available.
Description
(Winner of the 1998 Rómulo Gallegos Prize and the Herralde Prize; in English translation, named the Best Book of 2007 by the LATimes and SFChronicle, and one of the Ten Best Books of 2007 by the Washington Post and NYTimes Book Review) In this dazzling novel from Chilean poet Roberto Bolaño—the book that established his international reputation—he spins a saga of two modern-day Quixotes, the last survivors of an underground literary movement, on a decades-long, tragicomic quest to find the obscure poet who inspired them. Ambitious, exuberant, raunchy, and wildly inventive, The Savage Detectives received the prestigious Rómulo Gallegos and Herralde Prizes when it appeared in Spanish in 1998, but it was Natasha Wimmer's 2007 translation that made Bolaño wildly popular in the English-speaking world as well.

"In early 1970s Mexico City, young poets Arturo Belano (Bolaño's alter ego and a regular in his fiction) and Ulises Lima start a small, erratically militant literary movement, the Visceral Realists, named for another, semimythical group started in the 1920s by the nearly forgotten poet Cesárea Tinajero. The book opens with 17 year-old Juan García Madero's precocious, deadpan notebook entries, dated 1975, chronicling his initiation into the movement. The long middle section—written, like George Plimpton's Edie, as a set of anxiously vivid testimonies from friends, lovers, bystanders and a great many enemies—tracks Belano and Lima as they travel the globe from 1975 to the mid-1990s. There are copious, and acidly hilarious, references to the Latin American literary scene, and one needn't be an insider to get the jokes: they're all in Bolaño's masterful shifts in tone, captured with precision by Wimmer. The book's moving final section flashes back to 1976, as Belano, Lima and García Madero search for Cesárea Tinajero, with a young hooker named Lupe in tow. Bolaño fashions an engrossing lost world of youth and utopian ambition, as particular and vivid as it is sad and uncontainable."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
 
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