viernes, 21 de octubre de 2011

The Savage Detectives Group Read

There's still plenty of time left before 2012, of course, but what the hell: to help put an exclamation point on the end of the 2011 Roberto Bolaño Reading Challenge and to help usher in the new year in style, Rise of the Bolaño challenge and in lieu of a field guide and I will be hosting a group read of The Savage Detectives (original title: Los detectives salvajes) in January 2012.  For those not very familiar with the work, The Savage Detectives is the 1998 novel/pistol to the head of magical realism that provided the commercial and critical breakthrough to set the Chilean Bolaño on his path as the most important writer to come out of Latin America since Gabriel García Márquez.  Many Bolaño fans consider it Bolaño's best work--yes, even better than his posthumous, much more critically-lauded 2666--and while I won't get into that argument here, I can see why some people might feel that way given its livewire writing style, narrative experimentation, and scabrous humor.  In any event, I hope many of you will consider reading or rereading the novel with Rise and me in what will be the second time around for both of us and the first time I've picked up this personal favorite of mine since those wild and wooly pre-blogging "formative years" of yore--just let us know if you want to read along and then join us for discussion with participating fellow bloggers during the last weekend in January (Friday, 1/27 thru Sunday, 1/29) or thereabouts.  P.S. Emily, Frances, Nicole, Tom, others--always the charmer, I'm personally inviting you/calling you out to an under-600 pages de-humiliation party.  What do you say?

Savage (and non-savage) Readers
Rise of in lieu of a field guide
Amateur Reader (Tom) of Wuthering Expectations
Amy of The House of the Seven Tails
Anthony of Time's Flow Stemmed
Becky of Page Turners
Bellezza of Dolce Bellezza
Bettina of Liburuak
Caroline of Beauty Is a Sleeping Cat
Claire of kiss a cloud
Col of Col Reads
Emily of Evening All Afternoon
Frances of Nonsuch Book
Gavin of Page247
Jeremy of READIN
Mel u. of The Reading Life
Nicole of bibliographing
Sarah of A Rat in the Book Pile
Sarah of what we have here is a failure to communicate
Scott of seraillon
Séamus of Vapour Trails
Selena of luxe hours
Stu of Winstonsdad's Blog

34 comentarios:

  1. I'll do it! I'm in a joinin' kind of mood.

    Also, the book should be an outstanding lead-in to the group-read of Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet a month or two or three later.

  2. Yes! I too am in. Savage Detectives + Book of Disquiet sounds like an amazing start to 2012. And I'm assuming I'll have left my current reading slump far behind by that point.

  3. *Tom: Awesome, make sure you count me in for the Pessoa then! I'm in a joinin' kind of mood, too.

    *Emily: Also awesome! That two of my favorite readers are the first ones to join in is mighty satisfying on its own, but now I get to see how The Savage Detectives stacks up vs. 2666 for you and how it stacks up vs. Nazi Literature in the Americas for Tom. Bolaño geek that I am, I can hardly wait now!

  4. "The Savage Detectives" has been staring at me from the bookshelf for a few years now (literally - I mean, there's an EYE on the spine), so I'll try to give it a whirl.

    And I'm definitely up for the Pessoa read, as I'm already well into it.


  5. For sure count me in-I first read Savage Detectives in the first 1/2 of 2009-just before I started my blog-I have since read 2066, One Night In Chile, and am finishing up Nazi Literature in the Americas now-of these works, I like Savage Detectives best-

  6. I'm interested, but I hesitate to commit, as I seem to have an awful track record lately for finishing books on time. (And the library fines to prove it!) I don't have any set reading plans for the new year, yet, though, so I will strongly consider this.

  7. I'm on to reread Savage Detectives, and for the Pessoa chaser. Thanks.

  8. Alright then, sign me on! I've read Los detectives salvajes, but I still owe my blog a review. So it sounds like a great idea to revisit it and finally give its review the attention it deserves!

  9. I've already read this one and loved it. It actually has a bit of tie-in to 2666. Happy reading everyone!

  10. I LOVED this book. I'm not usually one for re-reading, but I'm actually considering in this case...

  11. *Scott: Wonderful--will look forward to both your Bolaño and your Pessoa posts then!

    *Mel u.: Nice to have another Savage Detectives rereader joining us! It will be great to have you share your perspectives with the gang, and I'm super looking forward to rereading the book myself (it was my first Bolaño, and it did a number on me that I still haven't quite recovered from).

    *Frances: Hurray! Such an honor to have you and fellow Woolfie Emily reading this book with me for your first time--I hope it doesn't disappoint either of you, but I can't imagine how it could unless one of you went all unicorn-y with your reading choices or something!

    *Amanda: While it'd be great to have you join us, no worries--the more important thing is for you to try out this book for yourself someday and see what you make of it. I think it's pretty amazing, and apparently I'm not alone for a change, ha ha!

    *Anthony: Great! Glad to have yet another SD rereader sign on and I love that Bolaño with a Pessoa chaser concoction you've dreamed up, too. Cheers!

    *Bettina: Wonderful! I'm glad that the group read will provide an extra reason to have you share what you think about the book with the rest of us. Cheers!

    *E.L. Fay: Thanks! I've loved hearing so many people say that they loved this book since my mind can't really compute the occasional comments from naysayers who tell me that they couldn't finish it. You couldn't finish one of the best novels in recent memory? What are you waiting for, The Hunger Games IV? C'mon!

    *Emily Jane: Would be delighted if you could join us but I'll consider you "joined in spirit" even if you decide not to. It's been great seeing all the love these past two days for one of my all-time favorite books. Cheers!

  12. Okay Richard, I've been waiting for this. Count me in!

  13. Yay, you're finally going to read this! I've been dying to see what you think since I read it...gosh, 2 years ago? I see that Anthony is rereading it - I am tempted to do so as well just to join in. The readalong group is full of rock stars! Although I feel like I should read a new Bolano before I reread this one... I still have time to decide - and I'll definitiely chime in whether I read it again or not. I'm excited! :)

  14. Excellent! I read 2666 as a group-read and I wasn't sure about going it alone with The Savage Detectives. This is going to be a great start to the New Year. Thank you, Richard.

  15. I'm in as well. I may regret it (because of the size) and not finish...never mind...I want to give it a try.

  16. *Gavin: Great, so nice to have another 2666 veteran on board with us!

    *Sarah (Tuulenhaiven): "The readalong group is full of rock stars!" Ha ha, it is a great group, isn't it? And I've been dying to revisit the novel in the company of a number of the people who've signed up already. I think it's a fantastic book, but we'll see how many of the new readers of it end up agreeing with me. Thanks for letting me know you'll chime in with comments either way, but it'd be cool if you decided to join us in a more "official" capacity as well. Cheers!

    *Sarah (A Rat in the Book Pile): You're very welcome--glad to have you join us! Ironically, a bunch of us met during a different 2666 readalong a few years back. Anyway, I agree that this will make for a fun start to the new year and I look forward to hearing what you think about the book in January.

    *Caroline: How exciting for me that you're in! Please don't feel any pressure to finish the book if it's not happening for you, though, esp. since I still "owe" you a post on a certain similarly bulky Italian novel (that I actually liked) at some point in time. I do hope you enjoy the Bolaño, though, and I think this is the perfect place to start with him given that he was at the height of his creative powers and the storytelling's so powerful. Cheers!

  17. Richard, is it okay if I write a short post about the group read on Page247?

  18. *Gavin: Of course, by all means. Thanks for even troubling yourself with something like that. Cheers!

  19. Excellent idea, thanks! I am not sure what the schedule of reading is going to be for this event but I am getting an early start on it... If anybody else is actively reading it now wants to come by and exchange insight and/or counterfeit, we'd love to have you over.

  20. One of my favorite things about reading this book is imagining myself in García Madera's shoes... What I would do like and unlike him.

  21. Hi, just found your blog and I am totally up for this read-athon. I have been blogging for going on 3 years and never participated in one, but I have been meaning to read this for a long time so it might get me into gear. Looking forward to it.

  22. *Jeremy/Modesto Kid: Thanks for the visits--so glad you'll be joining us! And I can see those bumper stickers now: What would García Madero do? As far as the "official" reading schedule goes, everybody should just plan on wrapping up by the last weekend in January so we can all discuss the novel on everybody else's blogs. Finishing earlier or later is quite OK, too, so I'll be by sometime soon to check out your early start-in-progress. Cheers!

    *Becky: Thrilled to have you reading along with us! Even though reading's a largely solitary act (!), I think most of my blogging friends and I enjoy a good group read on occasion because of the chance to see multiple people's opinion of a book you just read at close quarters--almost always leads to new insights into a work (in my opinion at least). Also, this book's such a fun but complex read that I think it's probably tailor-made for such a set-up. Cheers!

  23. OMG. I can't believe I'm considering joining the group read...

    This year I participated in a 2666 readalong and I'm sorry to say that didn't appreciate it very much. :( It's a lot of pages to struggle through when it's not your cup-a-tea! BUT. I bought a copy of The Savage Detectives along with 2666 so I can't just let it sit on my shelf without even giving it a try! Also, it was recommended by the fabulous author Kazuo Ishiguro. So. Let's wait for the idea to settle in, shall we? ;)

  24. I'd like to join you for this group read. I bought this book a couple of months ago but have been a little too intimidated to dive in. I'm hoping your group read will alleviate my nervousness!

    It's a great book to start out 2012, too

  25. P.S. Emily, Frances, Nicole, Tom, others--always the charmer, I'm personally inviting you/calling you out to an under-600 pages de-humiliation party. What do you say?

    Freakin' a. I keep seeing people talking about how The Savage Detectives is coming up, and I'm like, "is there a group read?" Oh yes, there is, and now I finally find out that you're behind it—and as if I wasn't going to have to participate immediately anyway, I've even been called out. Well, damn.

    Guess I am reading some major Bolano this January...awesome!

  26. *Gnoegnoe: Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but it'd be nice to have you join us should you decide to give Bolaño another try. Not guaranteeing you would like the book or anything, but The Savage Detectives is a lot different in tone than 2666 for whatever that's worth. Anyway, thanks for the visit!

    *Amy: Awesome, glad to have you join us--and I naturally agree that it's a great book to start 2012 out with! In any event, welcome to the party and I hope the number of people who want to reread this book as part of the group read sets your mind at ease a bit about the work (i.e. nothing to be nervous about, trust me). Cheers!

  27. *Nicole: Excellent, now all my top recruits are in--had thought you were just playing hard to get! :D Anyway, so glad this works out for you time-wise; I trust it will be a good sequel to the Marías and an equally good prequel to the Pessoa. Super excited to have you join us!

  28. Okay, you've convinced me...especially as I see I can pick it up at our library tonight. It's a miracle! Our library never has anything! See, it's meant to be that I join you.

  29. I just saw this on Bellezza's site. I'm definitely in -- although I'm afraid I'm going to have to wimp out and read in English to finish in January! :)

  30. How is it that I missed this post of yours? I have 1Q84, Dickens, and Du Maurier My Cousin Rachel to read this month. I'm wondering if I could slot this in, I do want to read this as a group. I'll try!

  31. *Bellezza, Col, and JoV: Sorry for the delay in responding to all of you, but I'm glad to hear that two of you are/were in and one of you is/was a maybe! Hope you're enjoying the work (or something else!), and no shame about reading Bolaño in any language whatsoever just as long as you give him a try. Hope to see you all back for the discussions next weekend. Cheers!

  32. Out of the loop but I'm in for this one! Happy new year!

  33. *Claire: So glad to have you join us for this one, beloved 2666er--hope to see you in a day or two for the discussions!