Why? Sometimes you start a book -- whether in print, or in audio -- and you just know that you've entered into something, some project, that's going to pay dividends.
That said, you'll have to check back with me to see if I follow through. The audiobook has more than 20 CDs. It's "double-bound" -- two cases stuck together to accommodate all the discs. That makes it a major undertaking. Will my early enthusiasm waver? Will my intended level of commitment subside? Maybe. But I'm glad I saw the audiobook on the shelf and grabbed it.
Audiobooks make clear the power of prose in ways that printed pages sometimes do not for me. Maybe I'm a poor reader of the printed word. But hearing the words read aloud, I can quickly pick up on the quality of the prose. It often has a certain rhythm, not to mention obvious polish and structure, that comes out when a good reader gives it voice. I just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in audio form, and while it's not a bad book (I wasn't a huge fan, but didn't think the writing was poor), popping in The Savage Detectives right after finishing the Rowling book makes the differences in the quality of prose obvious, even given the brilliant reader of the Potter book.
A post in the linked thread addresses my only other experience with Bolano: I read about one-third of the author's 2666 for a book club -- that represents a few hundred pages, if memory serves -- and liked it quite a bit. I intended to press ahead with it after the club meeting, but that reading project never continued. In reading about 2666, however, I kept seeing references to The Savage Detectives.
That novel wasn't on my list yesterday at the library. No, I've just added a number of audiobooks, several of which were on EW's year-end "best of 2010" list, to my "holds" queue, but I wanted a "quick read" in the meantime. When I saw Bolano's book on the shelf, and contemplated it's width on the shelf, I continued past it, scanning the shelves for other options. But then I returned to the title. "Maybe I have more time than I think I do before I get my hands on those other books," I thought, followed by "If I don't like it, I can always bail," and then the inevitable, "If I like it but another book comes through that I want to read more than The Savage Detectives, I'll just renew this one or check it out again later" (the latter option never happens; other books push it off the list).
So now I have a 20-plus-CD audiobook that I'm about 30 minutes into, and I'm excited enough to post here about it! That, in itself, is unusual and makes me happy, whatever comes.
Has anyone here read The Savage Detectives? Does anyone want to encourage me, or warn me, about continuing with the book?
Edited by Christian, 11 January 2011 - 02:28 PM.