2666

2666

Book rating: 03 Hardback Picador

By (author) Roberto Bolano

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  • Publisher: PICADOR
  • Format: Hardback | 912 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 232mm x 66mm | 1,139g
  • Publication date: 16 January 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0330447424
  • ISBN 13: 9780330447423
  • Sales rank: 160,648

Product description

Santa Teresa, on the Mexico US border, is an urban sprawl that draws in lost souls. Among them are three academics on the trail of a reclusive German author; a New York reporter on his first Mexican assignment; a widowed philosopher; and a police detective in love with an elusive older woman. But there is darker side still to the town. It is an emblem of corruption, violence and decadence, and one from which, over the course of a decade, hundreds of women have mysteriously, often brutally, disappeared. Told in five parts, 2666 is the epic novel that defines one of Latin America's greatest writers and his unique vision of the modern world. Conceived on an astonishing scale, and in the last years of Roberto Bolano's life with burning, visionary commitment, it has been greeted across Europe and Latin America as his masterpiece, surpassing even his previous work in inventiveness, imagination, beauty and scope. 'A tour de force though the phrase seems hardly adequate to describe the novel's narrative velocity, polyphonic range, inventiveness, and bravery' New York Review of Books 'One of the giants of the post-Marquez era' Sunday Telegraph 'One of the greatest and most influential modern writers' James Wood

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Author information

Roberto Bolano was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. He grew up in Chile and Mexico City. His first full-length novel, The Savage Detectives (Picador 2007), received the Heralde Prize and the Romulo Gallegos Prize when it appeared in 1998. He 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.

Customer reviews

By Simon Halliday 02 Jun 2009 3

I didn't finish it. I reached the second last section of the book and I couldn't read the phrase, 'She was anally and vaginally raped' any more. I understand that Bolano tried to depict the different hues of corruption - personal, political, thematic, and others. But, I couldn't find the will to continue reading. This didn't worry me too much.

I enjoyed the second and third sections of the book, but the first and the fourth? No. I didn't get to the fifth. I also believe that the book generally required more serious editing, it required someone to examine it, cut it, shape it. Bolano didn't live long enough to do it himself. I believe that the point (as much as it could be isolated) could have been conveyed in many fewer words and with more grace. I can neither recommend nor discourage the reading of 2666 - any pleasure from this one is probably (and largely) intellectual. It wasn't enough for me. I admit that I was disappointed after all the hype. Oddly enough, from the reviews I have read it seemed much better received in the US than it was in the UK.

Review quote

"Bolano's masterwork . . . An often shockingly raunchy and violent tour de force (though the phrase seems hardly adequate to describe the novel's narrative velocity, polyphonic range, inventiveness, and bravery) based in part on the still unsolved murders of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juarez, in the Sonora desert near the Texas border." --FRANCISCO GOLDMAN, "The New York Review of Books" "Not just the great Spanish-language novel of [this] decade, but one of the cornerstones that define an entire literature." --J. A. MASOLIVER RODENAS, "La Vanguardia" "One of those strange, exquisite, and astonishing experiences that literature offers us only once in a very long time . . . to see . . . a writer in full pursuit of the Total Novel, one that not only completes his life's work but redefines it and raises it to new dizzying heights." --RODRIGO FRESAN, "El Pais """ "Bolano's savoir-faire is incredible ... The exploded narrative reveals a virtuosity that we rarely encounter, and one cannot help being bowled over by certain bravura passages--to single one out, the series of reports describing murdered young women, which is both magnificent and unbearable. We won't even mention the 'resolution' of this infernal 2666, a world of a novel in which the power of words triumphs over savagery." --Baptiste Liger, L'EXPRESS"Splendid ... The jaw-dropping synthesis of a brief but incredibly fertile career." --Fabrice Gabriel, LES INROCKUPTIBLES"The event of the spring: with 2666 Roberto Bolano has given us his most dense, complex, and powerful novel, a meditation on literature and evil that begins with a sordid newspaper item in contemporary Mexico." --Morgan Boedec, CHRONIC ART"Includingthe imaginary and the mythic alongside the real in his historiography, without ever dabbling in the magical realism dear to many of his Latin-American peers, Bolano strews his chronicle with dreams and visions. As in the films of David Lynch (with whom Bolano's novel shares a certain kinship) these become a catalyst for reflection ... In such darkness, one must keep one's eyes wide open. Bolano invites us to do just that." --Sabine Audrerie, LA CROIX"An immense moment for literature ... With prodigious skill and his inimitable art of digression, Bolano leads us to the gates of his own hell. May he burn in peace." --TECHNIKART"Bolano constructs a chaos that has an order all its own ... The state of the world today transmuted into literature." --Isabelle Ruf, LE TEMPS"To confront the reader with the horror of the contemporary world was Bolano's guiding ambition. He succeeded, to say the least. Upset, shocked, sometimes even sickened, at times one is tempted to shut the book because it's unbearable to read. Don't shut it. Far from being a blood-and-guts thriller meant to entertain, 2666 is a 'visceral realist" portrait of the human condition in the twenty-first century." --Anna Topaloff, MARIANNE "On every page the reader marvels, hypnotized, at the capacity of this baroque writer to encompass all literary genres in a single fascinating, enigmatic story. No doubt many readers will find 2666 inexhaustible to interpretation. It is a fully realized work by a pure genius at the height of his powers." --LIRE "His masterpiece ... Bolano borrows from vaudeville and the campus novel, from noir and pulp, from science fiction, from the Bildungsroman, from war novels; the tone of hiswriting oscillates between humor and total darkness, between the simplicity of a fairytale and the false neutrality of a police report." --Minh Tran Huy, LE MAGAZINE LITTERAIRE (Paris)"The book explores evil with irony, without any theory or resolution, relying on storytelling alone as its saving grace... Each story is an adventure: a fresco at once horrifying, delicate, grotesque, redundant, and absurd, revealed by the flashlight of a child who stands at the threshold of a cave he will never leave." --Philippe Lancon, LIBERATION"If THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES recounted the end of a century of avant-gardes and ideological battles, 2666, more radically, evokes the end of humanity as we know it. Apocalyptic in this sense, wavering between decomposition and totality, endlessly in love with people and books, Bolano's last novel ranges over the world and history like the knight Percival, who in Bolano's words 'wears his fool's motley underneath his armor.'" --Fabienne Dumontet, LE MONDE DES LIVRES (Paris)"A work of genius: a work of immense lucidity and narrative cunning, written with a unique mixture of creative power and intimate existential desperation, the work of a master whose voice has all the authority and seeming effortlessness that we associate with the great classics of the ages ... It is impossible to read this book without feeling the earth shift beneath one's feet. It is impossible to venture deep into writing so unforgiving without feeling inwardly moved--by a shudder of fear, maybe even horror, but also by its need to pay attention, by its desire for clarity, by its hunger for the real." --Andres Ibanaz, BLANCO Y NEGRO"Without a doubt the greatest of Bolano'sproductions ... The five parts of this masterwork can be read separately, as five isolated novels; none loses any of its brilliance, but what's lost is the grandeur that they achieve in combination, the grandeur of a project truly rare in fiction nowadays, one that can be enjoyed only in its totality." --Ana Maria Moix, EL PAIS"Make no mistake, 2666 is a work of huge importance ... a complex literary experience, in which the author seeks to set down his nightmares while he feels time running out. Bolano inspires passion, even when his material, his era, and his volume seem overwhelming. This could only be published in a single volume, and it can only be read as one." --EL MUNDO"An absolute masterpiece ... Bolano writes almost without adjectives, but in his prose this leads to double meanings. The narration is pure metonymy: it omits feelings in favor of facts. A phone call or a sex act can express real tragedy, the sweep of the vast human condition." --Andres Lomena, LA OPINION DE MALAGA "" ""