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The Savage Detectives
Cover of The Savage Detectives
The Savage Detectives
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The late Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño has been called the García Márquez of his generation. In this dazzling novel, the book that established his international reputation, Bolaño tells the story of two modern-day Quixotes—the last survivors of an underground literary movement, perhaps of literature itself—on a tragicomic quest through a darkening, entropic universe.

Brilliantly rendered into English by Natasha Wimmer, the acclaimed translator of Bolaño's other great masterwork, 2666, The Savage Detectives is an exuberant, wildly inventive and ambitious novel from one of the greatest Latin American authors of our age.

The late Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño has been called the García Márquez of his generation. In this dazzling novel, the book that established his international reputation, Bolaño tells the story of two modern-day Quixotes—the last survivors of an underground literary movement, perhaps of literature itself—on a tragicomic quest through a darkening, entropic universe.

Brilliantly rendered into English by Natasha Wimmer, the acclaimed translator of Bolaño's other great masterwork, 2666, The Savage Detectives is an exuberant, wildly inventive and ambitious novel from one of the greatest Latin American authors of our age.

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About the Author-
  • Natasha Wimmer is the translator of eight books by Roberto Bolaño, including The Savage Detectives and 2666. Her most recent translations are The Dinner Guest, by Gabriela Ybarra, and Sudden Death, by Álvaro Enrigue. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 11, 2006
    This novel—the major work from Chilean-born novelist Bolaño
    \t\t (1953—2003) here beautifully translated by Wimmer—will allow English
    \t\t speaking readers to discover a truly great writer. In early 1970s Mexico City,
    \t\t young poets Arturo Belano (Bolaño's alter ego and a regular in his
    \t\t fiction) and Ulises Lima start a small, erratically militant literary movement,
    \t\t the Visceral Realists, named for another, semimythical group started in the
    \t\t 1920s by the nearly forgotten poet Cesárea Tinajero. The book opens with
    \t\t 17 year-old Juan García Madero's precocious, deadpan notebook entries,
    \t\t dated 1975, chronicling his initiation into the movement. The long middle
    \t\t section—written, like George Plimpton's Edie, as a set of anxiously vivid testimonies from
    \t\t friends, lovers, bystanders and a great many enemies—tracks Belano and Lima
    \t\t as they travel the globe from 1975 to the mid-1990s. There are copious, and
    \t\t acidly hilarious, references to the Latin American literary scene, and one
    \t\t needn't be an insider to get the jokes: they're all in Bolaño's
    \t\t masterful shifts in tone, captured with precision by Wimmer. The book's moving
    \t\t final section flashes back to 1976, as Belano, Lima and García Madero
    \t\t search for Cesárea Tinajero, with a young hooker named Lupe in tow.
    \t\t Bolaño fashions an engrossing lost world of youth and utopian ambition,
    \t\t as particular and vivid as it is sad and uncontainable.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from December 15, 2009
    The late Chilean writer Bolao's 1998 (U.S. 2007) novel begins with a 17-year-old's diary entries describing life in 1970 Mexico City. The narrative's second part is a meditation on the visceral realism movement founded by poets Ulises Lima and Arturo Belao, capped by their search 20 years previously for the poet Cesrea Tinajero. This Latin American "On the Road" presents a dreamlike patchwork of Lima and Belao's adventures from which to reconstruct their literary pilgrimage. Narrators Eddie Lopez and Armando Duran reinforce the novel's sense of place with their rounded pronunciations. Essential. [Bolao's final novel, the National Book Critics Circle Award winner "2666", is also available from Blackstone Audio.Ed.]Judith Robinson, Univ. at Buffalo

    Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Janet Maslin, New York Times "The Savage Detectives, which, like 2666, has been translated with wonderful agility by Natasha Wimmer, catapulted [Bolaño] from obscurity to worshipful adulation."
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    Blackstone Publishing
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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