- The Savage Detectives
- Roberto Bolano
- Picador, London, 2007
This first large novel of Roberto Bolano’s, published in English four years after his untimely death at just 50 years old, is a revolutionary masterpiece.
This first British edition came out the same year as the U.S. edition, although perhaps slightly later. Even so, this is the more sought after of the two editions and, therefore, the most valuable.
Copies like this one, in fine/fine condition, sell for up to $525, whereas the American first edition tops out at about $325.
Many people, myself included, like the cover art on this British edition more than the abstract yellow and black cover art of the North American edition. I have both, so for comparison I will showcase the U.S. edition in a future post. Another reason for the higher value might be that the British first print run would have been smaller than the American.
The Savage Detectives was the first of Bolano’s works to be translated into English by Natashia Wimmer, who also did a brilliant job translating his later epic novel 2666.
I personally believe that Bolano’s books will continue to rise in value over time. It is nearly impossible to find first printings of his early novels like By Night in Chile or The Distant Star. When they do come up, they are usually very expensive.
There is still at least one more novel coming out in early 2012 — a completed novel titled The Third Reich, which was found among Bolano’s papers.