By Roberto Bolano. Has anyone read it? I'm just 100 or so pages in, but it strikes me as a very important novel. I'm loving it. I sit on the train on my way to and from work, reading it, laughing out loud, seeming crazy to the pretty blond girl across the way, wanting to share the words with her:
As we were starting to eat, we were joined by a guy called Luscious Skin, twenty-three, rooftop neighbor, who was introduced as a visceral realist poet. A little before I left, I asked him again what his name was and he said Luscious Skin so naturally and confidently (much more naturally and confidently than I would've said Juan Garcia Madero) that for a minute I actually believed that somewhere amid the back alleys and swamps of our Mexican Republic there was actually a family named Skin.
This is not really the part that I want to share with her. That part is better, but far too naughty to share here.
It's about identity, I suppose, and life and lust and politics, truth and beauty, with touches of Hemingway, Bukowski (but better), Knut Hamsun, and others, I'm sure.
Anyway, I got into The Savage Detectives because Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth, the greatest band of all time) listed it on his "Best of" list for 2008. Sometimes I find myself imagining Thurston reading it, laughing and smiling like me.
From what I've read, Bolano lived a hard, passionate, rambling life and died in 2003, at the age of 50. The Savage Detectives was originally published in 1998, but took nearly a decade before it was translated into English. Before Bolano died, he raced to finish 2666, a massive, 900-page masterpiece (they say), which I can't wait to get my hands on.