Review: The Savage Detectives, by Roberto Bolano

I couldn't finish it. I made it to pg 166 of 648, then skipped ahead a few times to see what might happen. Someone dies, surprise surprise. I couldn't get interested in the drop-out poet who likes sex and occasionally does drugs, and tries to save a prostitute. Eh. The diary section that switches to a multi-character non-linear interview style is mildly interesting, but I couldn't stay focused or follow it long enough. Free trade on paperbackswap, and it's probably going back there.

Comments

Mark Pritchard said…
Dude. That book is not about "seeing what happens" in the end. It's about their journey. But I sympathize, I think a lot of people get bogged down in the middle part because they think it's a story about the young poet and his friends. Actually it's about, among other things, the cost of what it means to be a truly committed artist.

I posted about this question here: http://therumpus.net/2009/08/the-limits-of-narrative/
aron said…
I'm perfectly willing to admit that I didn't get it. Or, perhaps, that the author or his translator were not able to give me any clue of what the novel was meant to convey by the time I stopped. And so I had no reason to keep reading.

I think with a different schedule or mindset I could appreciate this book. I don't think that will actually happen, though. :)

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