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2666: A Novel by Roberto Bolaño

2666: A Novel (original 2004; edition 2009)

by Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,9611241,295 (4.16)8 / 611
Title:2666: A Novel
Authors:Roberto Bolaño
Other authors:Natasha Wimmer (Translator)
Info:Picador (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 912 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Spanish Literature, Mexico, Crimes, Authors, World War II, Read in 2012, 12 in 12 Challenge

Work details

2666 by Roberto Bolaño (2004)


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English (110)  German (4)  French (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Japanese (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
This is one of those books that sticks with you long after you've finished it. The entire book is a mystery, even the title, 2666, is never mentioned or explained. Made of 5 parts, it centres around the serial killing of over 400 women in Juarez Mexico but even those are never fully explained. There are stories within stories within stories. It's best not to try to search for a logical beginning or end but to enjoy it as it goes along. A masterpiece. ( )
  LJMax | Aug 21, 2015 |
``An oasis of horror in a desert of boredom.'' -- Baudelaire

If there was ever a book impossible to write a review about, it must be Bolaño's 2666. Having just finished the book, I have the urge rating it with five stars. The last 100 pages were really amazing.

However, I also remember the utter boredom I felt while ploughing through the Part about the Crimes. I sometimes had to drag myself towards the next page, often wondering why I was wasting my time on seemingly random sentences about random people doing essentially nothing. I was travelling at the time; if I would have had another book with me, I'm not sure I would have continued with 2666...

If you're really into literature, and looking for a masterpiece of language and epicness, but don't mind the lack of a compelling story in a book, then 2666 is definitely something for you. Don't expect a conventional novel however. This is a beautiful piece of art not to be toyed with.

I guess you'll rate it with either 1 or 5 stars. I'm sticking with 4, because of the middle part which I *hated*, even though I feel like I want to reread the whole book... ( )
  bbbart | May 30, 2015 |
started reading this back in 2009 and put it aside after i got bogged down in "the part about the crimes" . I made it to page 428 but will likely have to start over even though i actually remember quite a bit of it
  prairiegrl | Mar 17, 2015 |
I didn't get very far with this work. Too meandering for my taste, and also meanders into arenas I'm just not interested in. So although I didn't like it, it wasn't for lack of writing skill or storytelling...just not my kind of book. So 3 stars because I feel like the fault is not in the book, and 2 stars would be too harsh. ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
A book I found far more interesting than good. In 2666 Bolaño gives us five interconnected novellas all concerning a few key topics, namely the fictional author Benno von Archimboldi and the murder of hundreds of women in the Mexican city of Santa Teresa (a fictional version of Ciudad Juárez). Of these novellas only the first of the five, titled The Part about the Critics, works as a standalone story. The rest of the novellas lack a resolution, understandable in a way considering that the real-world murders that inspired the book continue to this day, but the lack of resolution nevertheless frustrated me. After the first novella the book created an expectation of resolution, and given the interconnected nature of these stories some form of final tying together of all the threads seemed possible until only a hundred or so pages were left of the book- at that point it became clear that Bolaño didn't have sufficient time to resolve all the conflicts and mysteries he had raised. One could argue that this isn't a book about resolutions but about continued mysteries, and that's actually a strong position with a decent amount of textual evidence, but at the end of the day a novel with that approach just isn't my cup of tea.

The individual parts of the novel are varied, with all being conceptually interesting at the very least. The part that most exemplifies this is The Part about the Crimes, which chronicles the dozens upon dozens of murders in Santa Teresa and the less than inspiring efforts to catch the perpetrator. Each murder is given a brief description, with a small spoonful of context, before moving on to the next one. As the body count grows higher and higher it's all but impossible to remember each individual victim, and so going forward you tend to pay less attention to each new victim. Bolaño, by going over each and every victim in this manner (this is the longest of the five parts), manages to transform a seemingly sensational series of events into a dull routine. In this way he desensitizes the reader to the murders, normalizing them so that they lose individual importance in the same way that such crimes have slipped off the front page in Ciudad Juárez in real life. It's fairly brilliant, but it's not that enjoyable to actually read. All the parts do interesting things, but none of them stood out to me as being both theoretically interesting and interesting in practice.

In a way, however, 2666 is more than the sum of its parts. As characters reappear and you make more and more connections you immerse yourself further and further into this fictional take on Mexico. It becomes your world, a dark and disturbing world that is more impressive than any of its component novellas. It's just too bad for me that such a world contains no resolution, as it makes me feel as though the world is ultimately unfinished, and therefore unsatisfying. If you don't need resolution of any sort in your books then right now I envy you, since I'm sure you'll absolutely love 2666. For me it's a 3/5. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (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 (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
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
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:07 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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