21 October 2011

The Savage Detectives Group Read

Just leave a comment to join.

Every book in the world is out there waiting to be read by me, says one Juan García Madero. A book is the best pillow there is, says Roberto Bolaño.

Richard of Caravana de recuerdos and I think one of these notable pillow books could be Bolaño's cult object Los detectives salvajes (The Savage Detectives, translated by Natasha Wimmer). We are hosting a group read of this novel in January 2012.

All are cordially invited – rebels, poets, bloggers, slackers. It's not poetry reading but it could have the same effect.

Savagery or previous experience as detective isn't required to participate. Nor is one expected to be a member of an avant-garde group like the visceral realists.

All one needs to do is sleep on the book and maybe join in on the discussion. Readers become "salvajes" in their own right.

Bloggers may post reviews and impressions anytime in January but "official" discussion starts on the last weekend of the month (Jan. 27-29). We'll link to your reviews.

About the book. At around 600 pages, it's a hefty pillow. We can't promise a wild poet chase, but wildness and unwieldiness shouldn't be in short supply. (Here's an excerpt.)

This early announcement should give readers plenty of headway. It's probably best to start early with the detective work. Or you can wait till All Souls Day, when our narrator began to write his adventures. Or the new year. It may turn out to be a firecracking yearstarter.

You can read this as part of the Bolaño Reading Challenge. It's supposed to end this year, but we'll count this toward your future Godzilla status.


Amateur Reader (Tom), Wuthering Expectations
Scott, seraillon
Frances, Nonsuch Book

(Image design by Jenny Volvovski) 


  1. I will for sure join in this event- Savage Detectives was my first Bolano-I read him back in early 2009 before I entered the book blog world-I loved it for sure-I have since read One Night in Chile, 2066 and am finishing up Nazi Literature in the Americas now-I think Savage Detectives is my favorite-

  2. Wonderful, mel! Great to have you on board. I've also first read it during my pre-blog days, I think.

  3. Fantastic! I will join in too (assuming I can find my copy -- I may have loaned it out somewhere...)

  4. Hope you find the copy, Jeremy. Welcome to the group read!