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2666 Audiobook

2666

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Publisher's Summary

National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 2009

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 Santa Teresa—a fictional Juárez—on the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers, in the novel as in life, have disappeared.

©2004 the heirs of Roberto Bolaño; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

This winner of the 2008 National Book Critics' Circle Award for Fiction is the master work from "one of the greatest and most influential modern writers" (James Wood, New York Times Book Review)

"...think of David Lynch, Marcel Duchamp (both explicitly invoked here) and the Bob Dylan of Highway 61 Revisited, all at the peak of their lucid yet hallucinatory powers." (Janet Maslin, New York Times)

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (498 )
5 star
 (194)
4 star
 (97)
3 star
 (83)
2 star
 (47)
1 star
 (77)
Overall
3.7 (317 )
5 star
 (139)
4 star
 (67)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (44)
Story
4.1 (311 )
5 star
 (146)
4 star
 (89)
3 star
 (49)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (19)
Performance
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  •  
    Mickey Shipwreck Island J, Brigstocke Township, N. Ontario 04-12-11
    Mickey Shipwreck Island J, Brigstocke Township, N. Ontario 04-12-11 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great book, but reader number 3 . . ."

    This is a great book. Too bad so many reviewers decided what it was about after listening to less than 10% of it. My reservation (indeed dismay) is that I have to concur with Nancy that the reader of the "Part About Fate" (whom I believe is G. Valmont Thomas) is not very good. In fact, his performance is without question the worst I have ever encountered in any audio book. He performs characters inconsistently, gives ridiculous and incongruous accents to characters, sometimes eschews accents altogether, overacts scenes like a 3rd rate high school theatre arts teacher, etc. His performance suggests he only read his part of the book, and had no idea what the book as a whole was about. It becomes quite comical at times. Fortunately, it's the shortest section, and eventually one is relieved at the advent of his replacement. G. Valmont Thomas: now that's quite a name, but an easy one to remember and try to avoid.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erika L Peterson Dorena, Oregon 05-01-16
    Erika L Peterson Dorena, Oregon 05-01-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't understand the hype"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm 26 hours into this bugger and I just cannot fathom the good reviews and awards. For the last 12 hours or so, it's just been a litany of anonymous murdered women, one after the next. Then there was the several minute long interlude of violent misogynistic jokes. The further in I get the more it feels like masturbatory fantasy material for psychopaths. The characters are dull and many are indistinguishable from each other. If the author ever heard the old saw "show, don't tell," he sure didn't take it to heart. So far, there is no plot. Overall, just unbelievably tedious. I am returning it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin F. Jacobson 10-05-14 Member Since 2013

    Amature Pedagogue

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully Written, but Nothing Going On"

    Normally I hate it when friends of mine read a book and complain that "nothing happens." Usually, it's just a slow build, or necessary exposition, or things happening by not happening--all of which can be done beautifully and in captivating ways. And while there's no doubt that Bolano's "2666" is a masterpiece is beautiful prose, it is a confusing, frustrating, and (dare I say it) somewhat boring story. The characters go in circles, nothing really ever happens, and after a while I just couldn't be bothered to try and follow or care anymore. It reminded me a lot of Faulkner's " Absalom, Absalom!", so if you are a fan of that novel or of Faulkner, then this may be up your alley. This may also be a great novel for those who are fans of Bolano--I can't really say, this being my first Bolano. Unfortunately, it just wasn't a novel for me. The narration, however, is quite good. All of the narrators capture different voices well and play the rhythm of Bolano's writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Cliff, NM, United States 12-18-12
    Barbara Cliff, NM, United States 12-18-12 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I didn't want it to end"

    39 hours long and I didn't want it to end.
    For one thing, I had no idea where Bolano was going with this one--andl that is a treat. For another, even though this touches on some grim facts of life as humans in the world there are in this book a myriad of interesting tales and people. Very entertaining and often funny Sometimes I found myself in the midst of a conversation and said to myself--wait a minute, who are these people and how are they related to the character I was following? Going back just a few minutes always cleared that up.
    On the performances--I enjoyed them all. But the first reader gets extra stars for making a very difficult text enjoyable, funny, easy to follow. There were four professors of German Literature, one from France, one from Italy, one from Spain, and one from England who just kept going to meetings and he made that fascinating. He is the reason I could get into this book--which was utterly rewarding.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-20-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-20-12 Member Since 2008

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    395
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    241
    188
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    20
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Immersive and questioning"

    There is a phenomenon going on in Juarez that is so enduring and so horrific that it just begs to be written about. But how can you write about something that is mysteriously ongoing and refuses to resolve itself? How can you not write about something so desperately in need of resolution? Bolano cannot give us closure on this but he can attempt to put into words how it feels to live in such a world. He does so in the broad leisurely way that it deserves. This is necessarily a painful book, but ultimately rewarding. How it is rewarding is difficult to put into words. Perhaps the book itself is the only way to verbalize that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Kinkade 12-05-10
    Jay Kinkade 12-05-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "2666 By: Roberto Bolano"

    Bolano's writing is quite hypnotic, his ability to keep the reader / listener engaged and waiting in anticipation of the next word is truly magical. His goal of writing a "work" of substance and girth was certainly achieved, however it was disrupted by untimely circumstance. The book is incomplete, thus the 3 star rating.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 11-06-14
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 11-06-14 Member Since 2009

    Business Physicist and Astronomer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1049
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    355
    154
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    159
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This Author Must Have a Lot of Friends"

    I made it through 2666 and it changed my life. After dragging my way through this pretentious, poorly written, poorly crafted and poorly conceived waste of pulp, I learned that a book either shows promise by the mid point or it does not. I learned that critics are easily fooled.

    The life changer for me is the freedom to never again have to finish a lousy book because some critic thinks it good because it has to be good, right? I stick with books unless they are obvious pap. I'll invest the time and make the effort. This book is an absolute mess. I am forever free to walk away from a book that is an obvious dud which the critics fear---is it just me? This is 900 pages of crap. I'd better play it safe and talk about the "reach" or the "expanse" so no one really knows that I think it's worthless.

    Look at the reviews. When the best a critic can do is recap the book (need those 1,000 words!) and then call it massive or expansive which just means long, skip it. I now understand a code that can steer me clear of future time wastes like 2666.

    Save your time. If you want to read Latin literature, turn to Marquez.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Tucson 08-04-14
    Emily Tucson 08-04-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    258
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No ending!"
    Would you try another book from Roberto Bolaño and/or the narrators?

    The narrators were fine. I would think about it, but I would make sure there was an end.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Roberto Bolaño again?

    I would think about it, but I would make sure there was an end.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes they were fine as a narrators. They helped with the changes in place and time.


    What character would you cut from 2666?

    No cuts.


    Any additional comments?

    The book had a lot of build up in characters and when it finally started to go some where, 37 hours in, the final narrator came on and said the author died before finishing the book, but they published it without an ending anyway.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bonnie 03-15-10
    bonnie 03-15-10 Member Since 2013

    DaWomz

    HELPFUL VOTES
    188
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    390
    113
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Not worth the time to listen"

    At the beginning and then at the end it was clearly stated that the Author demanded that the five books that comprise 2666 be publshed separately. The author knew best. Each story is a stand alone that happens, vaguely, to touch upon the others. In each of the 2666 "books" Bolano delves deeply .. possibly too deeply .. into the lives of selected characters. It is possible that, taken alone, at least 2 or 3 of the tales would have been captivating, but taken altogether it is wearisome. I wouldn't ever recommend it to anyone else because I woudn't know what to tell them made it worth reading. The "narrators" for the most part were excellent except for Scott Brick who imparted his normal sardonic tone thus rending the narration a joke .. and since the subject was the murder of many women it was a bit too irreverent for my taste. I listened to the whole thing, and I'm not sure this is a feat to be proud of, or ashamed because I wasted so much time.

    11 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlena Hollywood, CA, United States 02-25-11
    Marlena Hollywood, CA, United States 02-25-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Stuffy and Boring"

    The problem for me and why I'm not so motivated to finish it is, it doesn't sound like a Bolano book ought to sound, the accent doesn't remind you of Bolano, it reminds you of a stuffy British translator, totally ruins the experience for me.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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