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The Savage Detectives (1998)

by Roberto Bolaño

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,2061211,958 (3.97)325
New Year's Eve, 1975: 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 Cesarea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the run. La novela narra la bsqueda de la poetisa mexicana Cesrea Tinajero, por parte de dos jvenes poetas fundadores de un movimiento de poesa llamado los real visceralistas, el chileno Arturo Belano y el mexicano Ulises Lima.… (more)
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» See also 325 mentions

English (100)  Spanish (15)  Italian (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (121)
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
What a trial. Endless blocks of text detailing the movements of characters we've been given no reason to care at all about. ( )
  myshkin77 | Aug 10, 2023 |
It's hard for me to recommend this book, since so much of what resonated with me feels so personal. Both Arturo Belano and I grew up in Chile and eventually moved to Catalonia, married and had kids there. I could recognize the chilenisms and catalanisms, and I felt a deep understanding of some characters' feelings and intentions. We both were looking for things when young that looked different as time passed. We both had friends whose life plans didn't turn as they expected. We both looked for some truths that ended up not being quite true. But then I think about it and I guess beyond the coincidence in locations (and not even the exact same coordinates, but some arbitrary borders), this all might resonate with quite some people. ( )
  eduramirezh | Aug 2, 2023 |
An ingenious construction. Funny, too. (38) ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
If we have any sense, Roberto Bolaño will live on forever ( )
  jammymammu | Jan 6, 2023 |
I rarely read contemporary fiction, and know nothing about Hispanic literature. But I found this a compelling read. Unlike most other reviewers here I found the framing narrative comparatively uninteresting, especially the opening section which seemed stylistically quite weak but I now see represented the amateurish efforts of the 17-year old narrator who begins the story. The middle section is a collection of narratives from a dazzling array of characters. Rashomon-style overlapping story lines, sex scenes, philosophic meditations, literary allusions galore: a box of chocolate where you never know what you’re going to get. I enjoyed it more and more as I read on. I am sure that deeper investigation of the individual characters’ stories, literary references, etc would yield even more in appreciating this complex work.
  booksaplenty1949 | Nov 18, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bolaño, Robertoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Glastra van Loon, AlineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wimmer, NatashaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wimmer, NatashaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
"Do you want Mexico to be saved? Do you want Christ to be our king?"
"No."
-Malcolm Lowry
Dedication
For Carolina López and Lautaro Bolaño, who have the good fortune to look alike.
First words
I've been cordially invited to join the visceral realists.
Quotations
You can woo a girl with a poem, but you can't hold on to her with a poem. Not even with a poetry movement.
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New Year's Eve, 1975: 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 Cesarea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the run. La novela narra la bsqueda de la poetisa mexicana Cesrea Tinajero, por parte de dos jvenes poetas fundadores de un movimiento de poesa llamado los real visceralistas, el chileno Arturo Belano y el mexicano Ulises Lima.

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