Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Savage Detectives

I finally posted my review (here) of Roberto Bolano's Savage Detectives. Anyone else read it? Any thoughts?

7 comments:

Criss said...

Not yet! But I did receive my original-Spanish copy last week! Now, if I could only find a way to end the time-space continuum in order to find the time to read it...

moonrat said...

dang, in spanish?! you're a little more adventurous than i.

Criss said...

Thanks, but I'm just a cheater. I grew up in Chile, with a USian mom, so my parents gave me the gift of bilingualism.

(Although I didn't put any effort into learning these languages -- other than the effort any baby makes -- I still like to show off sometimes... :P )

Ink said...

I think I had quite a similar reaction to yours. I enjoyed the first section... with some caveats. While some of the writing and characterization was wonderful I felt it lacked a little in depth (especially considering the amount of hype and positive reviews I'd absorbed that led me to expect something a little more). I mean, the main theme of that first part mostly seemed to be that young men really want to get laid. And that, having once been a young man myself, was not much of a revelation. As for the rest... I appreciated the virtuosic voicework and admired the idea in the abstract (a story told in the absence of the main characters, in the voices circulating but never encompassing them). It's an interesting idea... and yet I found it less than engaging at times. Part of it being that I didn't find Arturo and Ulises worth all that effort. They didn't seem interesting enough to build this vast verbal framework around. They didn't have enough gravity as characters to pull me in through those slowly tightening spirals.

Certainly there's some brilliance entwined throughout, though. And it might be enough to get me to read 2666, which I hear is very different in terms of style, tone, direction, etc. From what I've read about it the story seems more up my line... though I'm a little worried about the length after not being completely enthralled by The Savage Detectives. But life would be dull without a risk here and there...

moonrat said...

thanks, Ink. glad to hear i'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

I didn't like Savage Detectives at all, but I'm loving 2666 thus far.

Jeff VanderMeer

moonrat said...

Jeff--interesting. I did hear that as a reader most people are probably bound to like one or the other, not both.

(How would you sum up the unsumupable 2666?)