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2666: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
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Top Customer Reviews
Bolano successfully breaks one of the basic rules of fiction writing - rather than showing what happens, he tells what happens, like a journalist. Thus he is able to say as much in one paragraph that others take in a chapter. Bolano says as much in 900 pages that might normally take 2500. He does not use line breaks and quotes for dialog (except in book 5), so there are often long blocks of text with no white space - it's a 900 page novel of high word count, but smooth reading. Ironically I never felt I was wasting my time, as if every detail mattered, even though I guess none of it did, all of it did.
The novel is certainly an investment of time and energy. I would recommend it to anyone interested in European avant-garde literature, Latin American literature, literature in translation and a sprawling kind of dreamy (strange) ambiguous work resistant to classification and open to interpretations.
I don't normally purchase books, but I purchased this one.
I adored the first part, the second part, the last part, but the third part left me cold and confused and the fourth part, as you may have gathered thus far, is a collage of police response, political response, and personal responses to the hundreds of murders on the Mexico/US border.
I felt as though Bolano was trying to weave together his ability to write the personal narrative of a few characters, his ability to write almost fairy tale-like history, and an objective, raw account of reality. Instead of weaving them together, though, he placed them side-by-side, a sort of sampler plate of Bolano's abilities. It meant that most readers will most likely enjoy only some of the five sections.
His knowledge and perspective are astounding. The prose, when meant to be, is unique, intriguing, whimsical, or completely emotionless and succinct. Definitely written for a modern audience, as, unlike past authors, Bolano doesn't stretch anything beyond necessity, doesn't linger on any side story unless it's something the reader will inevitably feel to be vital. He keeps up a swift pace.
I recommend reading it. I recommend it for the pithy little quotations, for the little things that tie each part together, details from one clarifying mysteries from another, for the feeling that you're being taken on a crazy journey across multiple continents throughout the twentieth century, for the fact that you, as a reader, are bound to adore at least one of the five sections.
It's not perfect. We know that Bolano didn't have the opportunity to give it the time it deserved. But it's worth your time.
Reading "2666" by Roberto Bolaño, I feel the same way. It has been quite a journey for the English reader with a talent of his kind. From "By Night in Chile" to the chilling "Romantic Dogs," (which I finished a week before this novel) to "2666," one of Bolaño's "longer" works, preceded by the fantastic "Savage Detectives."
Much has been written (and will be) concerning this novel (see the great reviews, beginning with the one in the New York Times). In short, and without giving too much away, the story revolves around five intervals, which Bolano wanted to be released separately (in 5 year increments), involving a cast of characters as thick as the book itself. Part 1 (About the Critics) concerns four critics: Jean-Claude Pelletier from France, Manuel Espinoza from Spain, Piero Morini of Italy, and Liz Norton who, through their love of Archimboldi, come together and discuss and revel in the mysterious nature of the man. Part 2 (About Amalfitano) and Part 3 (About Fate) concerns a Chilean college professor, Amalfitano, and his dealings with his daughter and a strange geometry books; and an African-American, Quincy Williams aka Fate, who takes a assignment in Mexico covering a boxing match, which soon gets derailed due to his interest in the murders of the women detailed in the next chapter. Part 4 (About the Crimes) concerns the cornerstone of the novel, the parts tying all these people together: the murders of women, detailed by Bolaño, in the city of Santa Teresa (Cuidad Juárez) in the Sonora Desert in Northern Mexico on the US border.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would guess that one of the most complimentary things you could say about a book just read is that you can’t wait to read it again. Read morePublished 13 days ago by M.D. Kuehn
The reviewers are wrong. There are several things wrong with this book. However the main problem was that I did not look forward to reading it every night so I gave up about... Read morePublished 1 month ago by BlueDog
The book is great. Part 4 is a crushing bore. But I think I understand the intent - highlighting the absurdity of the events with sheer volume of banal details. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Wilson
The novel is marred by an overlong and graphic section detailing the rape and murders of young women in Mexico. Read morePublished 2 months ago by n. bishop
Started out sort of uninterestingly and then just grew and grew to the stage at which I couldn't put it down. I am glad I stuck with it through the first part.Published 2 months ago by Neal Presant
At no time did I know what this book was about, yet I could not stop reading it. I've never read anything like it before.Published 3 months ago by James M.