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The Savage Detectives

The Savage Detectives

Author(s): Roberto Bolaño

Location(s): Mexico City

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 1970s onwards



Los Detectivos Salvajes is an urban odyssey set in the sprawl of 1975 Mexico City. Written by the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño, the novel won the Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize and is counted among his most successful novels, along with the posthumously published 2666. The novel follows a 17-year-old poet as he navigates the vastness of Mexico City and becomes embroiled in the activities of a literary movement and its adherents. The pull and sway of the city carries young Juan García Madero along as he tries to find his way in this strange urban world of literature, politics, and love. Bolaño’s prose veers and wheels in fragmentation with the poetic forty plus voices who narrate the bulk of the book. GQ ‘It’s no exaggeration to call Bolaño a genius. The Savage Detectives alone should grant him immortality’ Washington Post ‘Bolaño makes you feel changed for having read him: he adjusts your angle of view on the world’ Guardian

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Lead Review

“”The Savage Detectives” is deeply satisfying. . . . Bolano’s book throws down a great, clunking, formal gauntlet to his readers’ conventional expectations. . . . A very good novel.”–Thomas McGonigle, “Los Angeles”” Times”

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021