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Laura

Arlington, VA, United States | Member Since 2005

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  • The Savage Detectives: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Roberto Bolaño
    • Narrated By Eddie Lopez, Armando Durán
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (75)

    The late Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño has been called the García Marquez of his generation. The Savage Detectives is a hilarious and sexy, meandering and melancholy, companionable and complicated road trip through Mexico City, Barcelona, Israel, Liberia, and finally the desert of northern Mexico. It is the first of Bolaño's two giant works, with 2666, to be translated into English and is already being hailed as a masterpiece.

    Rebecca Lindroos says: "Started slow but ended great"
    "Stopped reading without guilt. Skip this book"
    Overall

    No one in book club finished the book. Despite high reviews (NY Times, Washington Post) every one of the voracious readers in my book club stopped reading it - myself included. You know that guilt you sometimes feel when you don't finish something you started. I didn't feel that guilt. There are too many better books out there to read.

    Why didn't I like it?

    1) It was a wandering and rambling trail of thought without an apparent plot line in the spirit of "On the Road", "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and to a certain extent "Walden Pond".

    2) I didn't care one bit for any of the characters. They could have dropped down the bottom of a well as far as I was concerned. It might even do them some good - teach those fancy, dreamy poets to live in the real world.

    3) The book was also complicated by the Spanish words - It was harder for me to connect to the book and get the swing of it with all of the foreign names and words.

    On the plus side - our book club's consensus is that the book wasn't 100% bad but we just didn't get it/ connect with it. I actually thought the racy sex scenes were the more intriguing part of the 2 hours that I listened to - the emotions of sexual wonder, desire, and exploration seems more real to me than discussions of young Mexican surrealist poets trying to establish a magazine.

    2 of 13 people found this review helpful

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