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2666 by Roberto Bolaño

2666 (2004)

by Roberto Bolaño

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,6921151,412 (4.17)8 / 571
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English (102)  German (3)  French (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Japanese (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (115)
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
Narrative like a ball of string, some moments of unparalleled beauty followed by tangents that I probably should have skipped.

Bolano has this excessive style that some mark as masterful, but which I see as clumsy. Too often people mistake the huge, monstrous works as inherently genius, as if all it takes to be brilliant is write a good book that is very long. In truth, 2666 is extremely flawed by his flair for long, overwrought tangent.

Here is a typical scene: character A meets B, or hears about B, and then the story launches into 20 pages about Bs inner most thoughts, as if every fucking person you meet in the world tells you their life story, including their thoughts at the time and comments. It is a pretty lazy trick, if you ask me. Once, in the final section, Archimboldi researches an old companion from the war, who had been dead for a time, and the book launches into a fifteen page retrospective on this lost characters life and most intimate thoughts, which seems very stupid from the perspective of narration, since every fucking character in this book seems to have the ability of clairvoyance.

Sure, Bolano's alter-ego might be the hidden narrator, as the editor suggests in the afterword, but still, this technique gets old after 1000 pages.

The scope of the novel was staggering, but it was really just a collected of related novellas, as if one considered Faulkner's massive SNOPES TRILOGY to be a single work. The PART ABOUT THE CRIMES became three hundred pages of IN DECEMBER THEY FOUND A GIRL... which stylistically captures the deadening and overwhelming nature of the killings but becomes dull and tedious as a work of art.

Bolano needed an editor with the balls to cut his books down, because there are so many unsatisfyingly and unnecessarily long.


Still, there are moments of genius here, and I did finish the book. People have such a hard-on for Bolano and I think they're mostly just being tricked by a really big thing that is more good than bad. The work of a master, yes, but NOT a masterpiece. ( )
  blanderson | Mar 4, 2014 |
you know that notion that the human mind deals with individual deaths as tragedies and large scale disasters and massacres as statistics?

This book is like taking the latter and stringing out each data point as an individual tragedy

enjoy ( )
  Achromatic | Feb 16, 2014 |
I'm not sure how to describe, much less review this book. It took me a very long time to read. It's divided into 5 sections, each of which was stipulated by the author before he died, to be published as separate books. The editor and the family decided to combine into 1 novel, which makes it quite long and a little disjointed. I enjoyed each section, but I was looking for more of a connection between them. It's also translated from Spanish into English making me wonder if the somewhat stilted language is the writer's style of writing or if it's the translation. All in all, I found it to be an interesting and engaging story (ies?) and it was well worth the lofty undertaking. ( )
  debbie.menzel | Feb 6, 2014 |
I'm very disappointed in this book. I've given it three stars, because it's clearly an accomplishment that doesn't deserve to be compared with some of the real crap I've read, but after investing the time to read a 900 page novel, I expected much more.

I loved the first of the five sections of the novel, which contained some of the lightest, loveliest, most lyrical prose I've ever read. The line that tickled me the most was "Much less did he expect the hail of Iberian kicks that proceeded to rain down on him...." I just love it.

But overall, I found the book way too sprawling. I'd feel differently if I thought that the separate portions of the book came together at the end, but they didn't. So many of the pages just seemed like unnecessary digressions.

I think that a brutal editor could have hacked this into a 300-page novel that I would've loved, but then I guess it wouldn't be Bolaño.

Between this and [b:The Savage Detectives|63033|The Savage Detectives A Novel|Roberto Bolaño|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170614503s/63033.jpg|2503920], it only took me 1500 pages of reading to realize that I don't like Bolaño. The pathetic thing is that it's still possible that I'll pick up another book of his--hope springs eternal. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
So my (former) Borders co-worker raved about a work of literature that he had just finished, insisting that it was a magnificent piece, and that I had to read it. Having just closed the page on the last book I had read, I said, "Sure, why not." So I picked up (online, as an e-book on my Kobo), the 795 page tome that is Robert Bolaño's 2666. And it is huge, a book you stand on to reach the cookie jar. (Well, since it was an e-book, standing on my Kobo would result in a cracked screen, but anyway...) First off, this book was supposed to be divided into 5 separate ones, published thus to cover the expenses of Bolaño's children after he died (of liver failure in 2003). His publishers decided, after conferring with his notes, to publish it as one novel. The novel opens with a description of three European literary critics and their love of the writings of one Benno von Archimboldi, a German writer hailed as the next Goethe or Kant. This interested me, as Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther was a major influence in my early reading. So I continued reading.

2666 has all the feel of a Post-Modern masterpiece. Imagine an author, having immersed himself into a world with a given set of circumstances, and thus decides to tell the story of each character, each painting, each event in that world. It would look like tributaries running into a stream, each twisting and turning, but invariably ending into a major river, and into a spot on the ocean. For this novel, the ocean is the Mexican town of Santa Teresa near the US border. Imagine the description of each dream the characters have, the other-worldly hallucinations at sunset on a deserted Mexican highway, the ramblings of madmen in asylums, the horror of Nazi officers and the decisions they make. And you, as the reader, must float down each tributary, knowing that you may (or may not) reach the conclusion. This is Post-Modernism.

I felt the same way about this book as I did with Neal Stephenson's Anathem, that I could keep reading forever, and a whole world would unfold before me, and it would swallow me up. It's not a book I would normally read, what with the graphic detail (I think people could easily call it a 21st century Joyce's Ulysses), but that shouldn't make you not read it, as their are parts of lyrical beauty, of fantastic writing, of arresting adventures in the outskirts of World War II. I would also compare it to David Benioff's City of Thieves, in the absurdist episodes surrounding the second World War. Also, Michael Nesmith's The Long Sandy Hair of Neftoon Zamora with the mystic realms of literature and art being contrasted with the base world of pornography and worldly pleasures. So, all in all, it was a good book, and I recommend it to anyone who likes a more experimental form of literature, and an open mind. ( )
  DenzilPugh | Jun 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 102 (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)
"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.
Roberto Bolaño
»Wie ein bekiffter Zuhälter«

Das Vermächtnis: Roberto Bolaños Roman »2666« ist ein Meilenstein der literarischen Evolution
added by baumgartner | editDie Zeit, Ijoma Mangold (Sep 14, 2009)

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roberto Bolañoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carmignani, IlideTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wimmer, NatashaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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An oasis of horror in a desert of boredom. -Charles Baudelaire
For Alexandra Bolaño and Lautaro Bolaño
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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.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312429215, Paperback)

Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008: It was one thing to read Roberto Bolaño's novel The Savage Detectives last year and have your mind thrilled and expanded by a sexy, meandering masterpiece born whole into the English language. It was still another to read it and know, from the advance reports of Spanish readers, that Bolaño's true masterpiece was still to come. And here it is: 2666, the 898-page novel he sprinted to finish before his early death in 2003, again showing Bolaño's mesmerizing ability to spin out tale after tale that balance on the edge between happy-go-lucky hilarity and creeping dread. But where the motion of The Savage Detectives is outward, expanding in wider and wider orbit to collect everything about our lonely world, 2666, while every bit as omnivorous, ratchets relentlessly toward a dark center: the hundreds of mostly unsolved murders of women in the desert borderlands of maquiladoras and la migra in northern Mexico. He takes his time getting there--he tells three often charming book-length tales before arriving at the murders--but when he does, in a brutal and quietly strange landscape where neither David Lynch nor Cormac McCarthy's Anton Chigurh would feel out of place, he writes with a horror that is both haunting and deeply humane. --Tom Nissley

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:52 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.

» see all 5 descriptions

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