ab903, January 5, 2012 (view all comments by ab903)
My favorite aspect of Bolano's writing is how he uses matter-of-fact language to describe the extraordinary; his prose lulls me into forgetting I am reading a masterpiece. This is Bolano's masterpiece.
Flyzie11, September 17, 2011 (view all comments by Flyzie11)
This is an extraordinary book of epic proportions and mind-bending intellect. This story shows the heart and soul of a tortured genius at his best. The twisting nature of this story somehow keeps you captivated page after page after page, whether you can even follow all of the intricate caricatures and scenarios. From graphic to obscene, from sensual to the mundane, an entire world unto itself is somehow made believable and relateable where magical realism meets gritty truth. A truly magnificent work showcasing a rare and amazing brain.
h2oetry, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by h2oetry)
2666 is a great read, though you should know that it is exhausting on many accounts. During the fourth section(of five), entitled 'The Part About the Crimes,' I had to put it down for nearly a month. The fourth section details hundreds of murders - mainly women. So, if you're squeamish to myriad details of death, be warned.
A constant theme, to me, throughout the novel is concealment, whether it is the history of main characters, a beautiful part (my favorite in the novel) comparing written works to a forest, or the crimes, etc. I could go on and on with more, but you should read the book yourself. It was worth the pain and suffering of getting through the novel. Read it!
Laura Hauther, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by Laura Hauther)
Originally written as three separate books, each part of the story circles around a mysterious elusive author. As the obsessed academics from the first book chase vague clues to their hero's whereabouts, the story spins away from these characters to explore the endless, senseless murders of local women in the author's last reported location.
Picador USA -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Last year's The Savage Detectives by the late Chilean-Mexican novelist Bolao (19532003) garnered extraordinary sales and critical plaudits for a complex novel in translation, and quickly became the object of a literary cult. This brilliant behemoth is grander in scope, ambition and sheer page count, and translator Wimmer has again done a masterful job. The novel is divided into five parts (Bolao originally imagined it being published as five books) and begins with the adventures and love affairs of a small group of scholars dedicated to the work of Benno von Archimboldi, a reclusive German novelist. They trace the writer to the Mexican border town of Santa Teresa (read: Juarez), but there the trail runs dry, and it isn't until the final section that readers learn about Benno and why he went to Santa Teresa. The heart of the novel comes in the three middle parts: in 'The Part About Amalfitano,' a professor from Spain moves to Santa Teresa with his beautiful daughter, Rosa, and begins to hear voices. 'The Part About Fate,' the novel's weakest section, concerns Quincy 'Fate' Williams, a black American reporter who is sent to Santa Teresa to cover a prizefight and ends up rescuing Rosa from her gun-toting ex-boyfriend. 'The Part About the Crimes,' the longest and most haunting section, operates on a number of levels: it is a tormented catalogue of women murdered and raped in Santa Teresa; a panorama of the power system that is either covering up for the real criminals with its implausible story that the crimes were all connected to a German national, or too incompetent to find them (or maybe both); and it is a collection of the stories of journalists, cops, murderers, vengeful husbands, prisoners and tourists, among others, presided over by an old woman seer. It is safe to predict that no novel this year will have as powerful an effect on the reader as this one." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
by Francine Prose, Harper's Magazine,
"For there are some novels that make you feel as if a powerful force has moved through the writer, as if the artist has become the vehicle for the words of an exalted ventriloquist or has indeed been possessed by something....2666 seems like the work of a literary genius in the ferocious grip of a spirit not unlike the one that seizes Florita Almada." (read the entire Harper's review)
"Review A Day"
by William Deresiewicz, The New Republic,
"Well, it's not dead yet. The modernist idea, which is really a Romantic idea, that the truest art comes from the margins, from the social depths, from revolt and disgust and dispossession, from endless cigarettes and a single worn overcoat....A young man can still get up in a Mexico City bookstore and declare war on the literary establishment, give the finger to coffeehouses and Octavio Paz, plunge like a burning wreck into willed obscurity, toil in poverty for twenty years, and wind up forging, at the cost of youth and health and finally life, works that mark a time and point a new way forward....This was Roberto Bolano's story, and beyond his works' particular merits — which are indeed great, though not quite as great as generally claimed — their value is just this: the tremendous courage that they bespeak." (read the entire New Republic review)
by The Washington Post,
With 2666, Bolano joins the ambitious overachievers of the 20th-century novel . . . who push the novel far past its conventional size and scope to encompass an entire era, deploying encyclopedic knowledge and stylistic verve to offer a grand . . . summation of their culture."
by Lev Grossman, Time,
"A masterpiece...the most electrifying literary event of the year."
by Jonathan Lethem, The New York Times Book Review,
"Indeed, Bolaño produced not only a supreme capstone to his own vaulting ambition, but a landmark in what's possible for the novel as a form in our increasingly, and terrifyingly, postnational world."
by Adam Mansbach, The Boston Globe,
"A work of devastating power and complexity, a final statement worthy of a master."
by Henry Hitchings, Financial Times (UK),
"Bolaño's most audacious performance....It is bold in a way that few works really are it kicks away the divide between playfulness and seriousness."
by Francine Prose, Harper's Magazine,
"The opening of 2666 had me in its thrall from those first few pages....For all the precision and poetry of its language, for all the complexity of its structure, for all the range of styles and genres it acknowledges and encompasses, for all its wicked humor, its inventiveness, and sophistication, 2666 seems like the work of a literary genius."
Three academics on the trail of a reclusive German author; a New York reporter on his first Mexican assignment; a widowed philosopher; a police detective in love with an elusive older woman — these are among the searchers drawn to the border city of Santa Teresa, where over the course of a decade hundreds of women have disappeared.
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