Six Degrees of Separation – from Like Water for Chocolate to Possession

I enjoy reading the responses to Kate’s Six Degrees of Separation challenge over on Books are my Favourite and Best, but I’ve never done one myself. That is, until now. Continue reading

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The Savage Detectives

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Read 26/12/2016-02/01/2017

Rating: 4 stars

Read for The Reader’s Room Winter Challenge

I did some reading up on The Savage Detectives. It’s partly a fictionalised account of Roberto Bolaño’s return to Mexico in 1974 and his attempt to set up, with a friend and fellow poet Mario Santiago, a group of renegade poets-cum-practical jokers whose purpose in life is to disrupt the cultural status quo through heckling at poetry readings and to bring about political revolution with poetry as the great liberator.

It’s also partly a quest, a road trip in search of a mysterious disappeared poet. Throughout the book, the savage detectives of the title are neither fully present nor fully absent. They are present in conversations, and present in people hoping for their return, and are absent even when they make a physical appearance. We never hear directly from them. We only hear other people’s impressions of them. Continue reading

Faces in the Crowd

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Read 29/07/2016-30/07/2016

Rating: 3 stars

Read for The Reader’s Room Olympic Challenge

A woman trapped in a house in Mexico City is obsessed with Gilberto Owen in an apartment in Harlem with a dead orange tree. Gilberto Owen in an apartment in Harlem with a dead orange tree is obsessed with Emily Dickinson who is a woman trapped in a house. Both the woman and Gilberto see ghosts. Both Gilberto and the woman are ghosts. Both have died many times and go on dying and seeing each other across time. Continue reading