Overview


THE POSTHUMOUS MASTERWORK FROM “ONE OF THE GREATEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL MODERN WRITERS” (JAMES WOOD, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW) Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño’s life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally ...
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2666: A Novel

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Overview


THE POSTHUMOUS MASTERWORK FROM “ONE OF THE GREATEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL MODERN WRITERS” (JAMES WOOD, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW) Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño’s life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of SantaTeresa—a fictional Juárez—on the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers, in the novel as in life, have disappeared.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466804821
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 7/9/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 912
  • Sales rank: 96,318
  • File size: 991 KB

Meet the Author


ROBERTO BOLAÑO was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. He grew up in Chile and Mexico City, where he was a founder of the infrarealist poetry movement. His first full-length novel, The Savage Detectives, received the Herralde Prize and the Romulo Gallegos Prize when it appeared in 1998. Bolaño died in Blanes, Spain, at the age of fifty. NATASHA WIMMER ’s translation of The Savage Detectives was chosen as one of the ten best books of 2007 by The Washington Post and The New York Times.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 91 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 91 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Reminded Me Why I Read

    First off, Bolaño's "2666" is the best book I've read in ten years. I've got a Bachelor's in English and my favorite hobby is reading - so I've read a lot. I love to read everything. And although I read constantly, this book reawakened me to what meaningful reading can feel like.

    It isn't necessarily the lightest of literary works. At times, the book felt like a marathon. It's not something you zoom through. Bolaño breaks up the long, complex story with countless stories-within-stories that could stand alone but aid in the richness of the overall. In the end, I was not only supremely pleased with the book itself but proud of myself, in a way, for getting through it. The rewards are ample. I have not spent so much time post-read considering plot, symbolism, meaning, characters, scenarios, situations and style in several years. You could write twenty books on the themes of "2666."

    All of the "books" (Parts) within the book correlate more than they connect. Each book has it's own flow and appeal. "The Part About the Crimes" can get very tedious. But there are reasons for it's drawn out dictation and blunt style. The characters in each Part are rich. The environments are haunting. There really isn't a traditional plot. The book is about human nature in the face of an often unforgiving world. With Bolaño, the world isn't always just unforgiving. It can be merciless without reason. But it still just keeps on spinning.

    I recommened this book to anyone I know who enjoys reading. Even those who didn't love it as much as I did, or have issues with it, state that they're glad they read it.

    As for the awards, the critical praise and the title of "the first classic of the 21st Century" - they all apply suitably. Personally, I'd been looking for something to snap me out of a literary/writing funk. There are great authors out there, and there is some great writing going on. But I wanted something with a challenge that wouldn't confound me, maybe something a little more mainstream and definitely something worth the time and effort. "2666" not only gave me that, but inspired me further. It makes you think without making you feel like an idiot. It opens you up to the emotions that a good writer can create by putting words together and allowing your mind and heart get sucked in. It reminds you how to read and why you read. And for all its flaws (and it does have them. Too long in spots. Too tedious at times. Too convoluted at other times. And yet, at other times, parts end abruptly. If you want to nitpick, you can find more), the flaws help you feel at ease. That a really, really great story doesn't have to be perfect. Maybe that's why I found it near-perfect for me.

    To those who buy it, I say: Really read it, not just the words. Try to appreciate it for more than just something with a beginning and end. Stick with it, even through the tough spots. Then make someone else read it and spend several hours arguing, debating, and re-living it.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A worthwhile challenge from the end of days...

    2666 is huge, apocalyptic, brilliant, and evocative of the entire spectrum of human emotions. It's a symphonic masterpiece in text and structured like a Kurasawa movie. Five narrative threads where characters from across the globe come to the scene of a horrific and continuing series of crimes against young women make up the story. Though the actors in the story journey to or live in Santa Theresa, Bolano's fictional doppelganger for Cuidad Juarez, for personal reasons unrelated to the murderous crimes that have left a pall on the city for fifteen years, all find themselves caught up in the drama and the tragedy of the deaths and disappearances. From the Faulknerian confidence of his sentences, to the detailed explorations reminiscent of Joyce, to the epic scope of Goethe or Mann, Bolano has written a novel for the ages. For those who think big, meaty books aren't their cup of tea, stay away from this one. For those who are sick of being spoon fed the pablum that makes up most popular fiction, this is a book to challenge your skills as a reader and worm its way into the spot where your compassion lies. Written in the final years of his life, when he knew he was dying, Bolano has put heart, soul, mind, and body into this one. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those seeking epic greatness in literary fiction.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful, but beware

    Belano's themes are international and his language is intoxicating. He varies the experience from impossibly long and elegant phrases to coldly clipped bullets of information. I have found no other mystery as hauntingly suggestive of the human condition as this. But, read at your own peril; by the end of the fourth part you will be rattled, I promise. This book is as brutal as it is beautiful.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2009

    Dazzling imagination....

    I found 2666 to be a dazzling and endlessly fascinating tour of Bolano's imagination. Don't expect to read the book and have all the loose ends neatly tied up or have the story(s) unfold linearly. Major characters intermingle with minor ones who are never encountered again. Some are used as foyles to move the narrative and reappear at unexpected moments, others provide local colour to fill in the palette, and many of the rest are just the frothy exuberance of a completely engaging writer. These characters had the same effect on me as Mozart's endless thematic material in his best works where he throws away themes that most any other composer would have been glad to serve as the central motif. A more intrusive editor might have trimmed a hundred pages, but I loved every last bit.

    Yes, there are parts that are hard to read just as in real life we sometimes want to look away. Those graphic images remain vivid long after you put the book down. But then so do the depth of the characters, the twists and turns, and the eccentricities of the humanity presented.

    To dive into this book is to enter an all-encompassing thought-world. By the time you're through, you will understand the initial instruction to read the book at least twice, similar to Thomas Mann's introduction to The Magic Mountain. Do yourself a favor and read it. I loved it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Victims of violence and coverups

    This is a long book with many characters. The writing style can often slow the reading - long paragraphs. The descriptions of the murder victims are detailed but necessary to sort of numb the reader into grasping the immensity of the violence. Other graphic sexual descriptions detract from the story line.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    Impressive, Difficult, Long

    This is not the type of book that I typically would read. It is dense and challenging to follow. Bolano is incredible for the output and creativity and detail and breadth of reference to obscure topics, and particularly captures a central american mindset in a fictional town of Santa Theresa, Mexico. Never making his main points directly, always from many directions and just touching. The first chapters, and a mysterious author Archimboldi, hooked me in. It travels great distances of psyche and character to resolve this mystery, sort of. Difficult chapters on the murders, hard to take. I stuck with it, was educated, stimulated. But it was work, not recreation. It's the kind of book that would be interesting to discuss, but I am not sure I would recommend it to a friend to have someone to discuss it with.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

    Brilliant but dissapointing

    I am sad to say that I was slightly disappointed with this novel. I (also) selected this book after reading a review of it in Time magazine, and feel as though I was deceived. The characters are dreary, the plot is scattered, and I felt that the premise of the novel surrounding itself around the murders of various women (imitating the Juarez murders) was inaccurate. As the Note in the back states, the novel could be divided into five parts, each read separately, which explains why the combination of all five left me confused and apathetic to the whole novel. What ever happened to the first three critics that were in part one? Or the philosophical widower? It would have been nice if Bolaño tied all the characters and the individual plots together in the last part. But he doesn't, and the reader is left feeling bemused.

    However, I will say that the author is undeniably brilliant. His writing is superb and unique; the breadth of his intellect is observed throughout the novel. If you are looking for a challenging, even philosophical read, than I would recommend this book. If you don't care for it after the first part, you can stop reading it because he never returns to those characters and their stories. I'd say give it a try.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2009

    Disappointing

    I had never read any of the author's works previously. After a highly laudatory review in the NY Times Book Review I decided to give this work a try.
    I found it very disappointing. I found the characters unappealing, the plot ponderous and the writing style unbearable.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Potent and Ambitious

    Roberto Bolano's novel is an stimulating indulgement within the realm of timeless literature. The author, knowing that this would be his last novel before his untimely departure, managed to construct and illustrate and colossal work of fiction that will surpass his death. The characters are intriquete and similar in their vulnerabilities. The plot unfolds around the mysterious deaths of hundreds of women over the last years in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. From the beginning pages readers will be thrusted into an air of mystery which will unfold casually during the length of 900 pgs., however, be warned that if the book is not read with all five sense being alert simultaneously, by the end of lengthy piece of literature you might be left with the strong distaste when deciphering that the true theme of the author's work has utterly gone over your head.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    900 page Hispanic attack

    I read book one twice through, with highlighting, thinking that I might miss something that would be important further on. Total waste of time as it was merely a long winded and frankly pointless introduction to books 2 and 3. The characters were somewhat insipid and it's theme seemed to be a treatise on the superficiality of intellectuals and of academia in general if anything.
    Book 2 was a condemnation of Hispanic society and of it's complete and utter inability to form effective institutions on any level due to endemic corruption, and the weakness and lack of moral fiber in Hispanic men in general. "Why are we so screwed up?" he seemed to be asking in every vignette, punctuated by descriptions of one grisly rape/murder after another, clearly puzzled and frustrated by the lack of outrage or anger or guilt and the unwillingness or inability of ANYBODY in a position of authority to do ANYTHING about it.
    I haven't read book 3 yet, but of course I will. I'd like to point out that the translation is excellent, the best I've ever read for a Spanish language novel. It really captures the authors wit intact and has a modern colloquial feel. These books are actually quite funny.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 7, 2010

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    Posted November 25, 2008

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