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2666 by Roberto Bolaño

2666 (2004)

by Roberto Bolaño

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,2921531,368 (4.13)8 / 676
An American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student interact in an urban community on the U.S.-Mexico border where hundreds of young factory workers have disappeared.
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English (137)  German (4)  French (3)  Dutch (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Spanish (2)  Japanese (1)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (Bokmål) (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
loved book 1, book 2 and book 5. Book 4 was just too much for me. ( )
  Jetztzeit | May 15, 2020 |
It has been a long time since I finished "reading" (actually, listening) to this book. 6 months ago, I decided that I wouldn't let myself be intimidated out of reading a book whose other reviews on Goodreads were effusive to the point of James Lipton from Will Farrell's parody of Inside the Actor's Studio. Review after review of, "Robert Bolano makes Gandhi look like a child pornographer," and all that. "Best thing man has created since cave paintings." To be honest, I don't see what all the hype is.

I don't read novels often, it is true, and perhaps it is this lack of practice that makes me not recognize the level of brilliance in this book. Or perhaps people are fluffing over the brilliance of the author in the same way that the protagonists in the first part of the book brood over the work of Otto von Archimbaldi.

I was excited to read a haut culture leftist novel. The author mentioned the Zapatistas, Valerie Solanas, the Situationists, and even waxed on about a fictionalized version of Bobby Seale, ex-chairman of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. I didn't particularly enjoy the latter. I knew who Bolano was talking about and I wondered whether part of the reason he wrote this as a fictionalization was because he could say anything he wanted about the fictionalized character. But there was an uncomfortable closeness with his actual biography, and it seemed like cheating. The aforementioned references are shibboleths that clearly put the author on the left, feminist, and anarchist map, but with a lack of specific affinity for any of them, the relationship seemed too complicated.

Be prepared for a long and confusing first book (first several books, even.) The narrative is interwoven bridging Europe with the Americas and landing us firmly in Mexico, where the feminicidios of the border loom large, but before it gets there, we are stuck with the academic superfans of Otto von Archimbaldi, a mysterious writer whose mysterious biography is courted by the suede elbows of the academy. They have petty jealosies, love affairs, and expose their fragility to us, almost inexplicably, especially early on. But then, just as you are about to stop listening to the book because you *thought* it was supposed to be about Mexico and the feminicidios, you get there.

This part of the review will be triggering to those who have experienced sexual assault or violence, as were large sections (hundreds of pages) of the book. The descriptions of the brutal rapes and murders are stomach churning, to be sure. And worse because these fictional victims contain real-life counterparts on the border between Mexico and the United States, where NAFTA has made life (especially female, indigenous, working class life) cheap. There was a moment of author brilliance when the police are sitting around the police station, killing time by telling horrifying mysogonystic jokes. We can see the culture of hatred of women that leads to such murders.

There is an intersection between how capital has pushed people out of their homes, into dire situations of poverty and rootlessness, degraded them in their treatment, their living, and their labor, and the brutal patriarchy enforced by the state. When so much has been brushed under the carpet, the seriousness of the murders is overlooked until the numbers of victims is mindblowing.

And another moment of brilliance when I picked up the book to see what the pages looked like. The description of the rapes and murders and the bodies of the women, were a barrage; an assault of one after another after another. The totality of them made a huge bog that when you finally emerged out the other end of it onto the next book, you felt covered in it. Those who had read the book (instead of listening to it as I did...) enjoyed no respite either. There aren't even paragraph breaks. Several pages go by without a breath longer than a period.

The book isn't worth the hype. And those who are reading it may give up before they get to the interesting parts of the book. Others will give up in the brutal onslaught of descriptions of the aforementioned feminicidios. But for those of you who make it to the end, it is rewarding. I will give Bolano another shot. ( )
  magonistarevolt | Apr 27, 2020 |
The good:
- generally a "nice place to be" reading this book; moderately well written, not particularly challenging
- maybe the overall sense of alienation has something... but no, it doesn't.
And that's it.

The bad:
- nothing happens, nothing. Each of the books (I read three of the five, and that was enough) provides only a background on top of which a novel could have happened, but didn't.
- there is no build up - at all - of a mesh of ideas, nor of plot, nor of a discovered community, nor of any revelation, nor of anything.
- it's WAY too long.
- this is five short stories, novellas. It is not a novel in form. Note that, in addition, there is a complete absence of plot both within each novella and between them (I know, roughly, what the other two novellas contain).

This collection of novellas is literary benzodiazepines. Avoid it. ( )
1 vote GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
Art, violence, and back to the start. Give books that interconnect and cross continents. Complex and complete. ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
This was difficult but not in the way you might expect something 1,000 pages to be. I was told to "stick with it," which I never found hard to do, but the interest you hold might wane to the sliver of, "how does this keep going? for 400 pages more?" and when it comes together (sort of) you WILL BE GLAD YOU DID. It was things converging without anyone in the story knowing it. I don't know. I loved this but it was hard to read over lunch. Some of the sexiest things ever. ( )
  mirnanda | Dec 27, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
”2066” är en av dessa sällsynta romaner man skulle kunna bosätta sig i.
Nu bör alla som inte redan skaffat och läst den ha slängt på sig halsduken i farten, störtat ut i hösten och vara i fullt fläng på väg mot närmaste bokhandel.

(Note: this is not the same review as the other one by the same reviewer. It concerns a different translation.)
added by Jannes | editDagens Nyheter, Jonas Thente (Oct 19, 2010)
Lever han upp till sina ambitioner? Tveklöst. ”2066” är en av dessa sällsynta romaner man skulle kunna bosätta sig i.
"2666" ist ein kühnes, wildes, hochexperimentelles Ungetüm von einem Roman. In der vorliegenden Form keineswegs perfekt - besonders der zweite, dritte und fünfte Teil haben große Längen -, ist er doch immer noch so ziemlich allem überlegen, was in den letzten Jahren veröffentlicht wurde.
added by lophuels | editFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Daniel Kehlmann (Oct 14, 2010)
Theorie her oder hin, "2666" ist ein ungeheuerlicher Wal von einem Roman, er bläst seine Fontänen hoch in den Äther.

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roberto Bolañoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Amutio, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carmignani, IlideTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wimmer, NatashaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Awards and honors
An oasis of horror in a desert of boredom. -Charles Baudelaire
For Alexandra Bolaño and Lautaro Bolaño
First words
The first time that Jean-Claude Pelletier read Benno von Archimboldi was Christmas 1980, in Paris, when he was nineteen years old and studying German literature.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Volume 1 of the Italian edition of 2666 in two parts: La parte de los críticos; La parte de Amalfitano; La parte de Fate
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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