Monday, May 17, 2010

New Books

I bought a new book at Borders today, and then acquired a free one a couple hours later.  First up, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano.  Then The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith.

I had heard of The Savage Detectives a long time ago but had somehow gotten the impression that it was about a family in upstate New York solving crimes.  (To pinpoint it, I believe I conflated the concept of detectives with the characters and setting of a 2007 Laura Linney movie called "The Savages.")  In reality, it was written in Spanish and translated to English, and so far is narrated by a seventeen-year-old Chilean aspiring poet.

I can usually tell if I will like a novel by the end of the first or second sentence.  This isn't ALWAYS true - I wasn't immediately grabbed by The Good German, for example, but ended up really enjoying it.  However, the inverse does seem to be reliable: I have never fallen in love with an opening line but ended up hating the book.  This is how I picked out The Savage Detectives.  I happened to be sitting by it, opened it up, decided I liked what I read, and concluded that it would be a good book to own.  Here's what enticed me to buy it:

"I've been cordially invited to join the visceral realists.  I accepted, of course.  There was no initiation ceremony.  It was better that way."

1 comment:

  1. Fine. I'm bored at work. I'm finally reading your blog. You win! :)

    Let me know how the Zadie Smith book is, because I really didn't like the book of hers that I read, so I'm curious if it was the subject matter or her writing.