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.
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)
This book is not for the masses! It is boring, unless of course you like books about obscure academics involved in obscure academic research (German Literature) and their coffee house conversations with like minded characters. Throw in a plethora of untranslated romance language phrases and you have something fit only for academic snobs. I could only stand about 4-5 hours of this. My worst selection ever.
I am used to 20+ hour books but this is even worse than Anathem by Neal Stephenson. Pure agony forcing myself to finish it. I hate to waste money but this one is made to be deleted! Achem Baldi is now a cuss word.
Honestly, I'm not really sure how to rate this book. The individual stories were good, I related to many characters, however some portions were incredibly graphic about the sexual act. The overall book: awful. I kept waiting for it to "come together" but it never did. If you want essentially 5 books for the price of one, try this book. If you want a cohesive story, stay away.
1st book in 12 months I just could not finish. Finally gave up and quit listening after about 8 hours of pure agony.
After reading dozens of rave reviews I was very excited to give it a listen. After two hours I was wondering if I was some kinda of literary idiot. I simply could not get into or follow the story. A writer, writing about writers writing.....somebody shoot me!
Benno von Archimboldi....Archimboldi.....Archimboldi.....Archimboldi.....Archimboldi The author must have "said" (ur uh written) that name 100 times in the first hour of the book. I could have made a beer drinking game out of it. I would have been hospitalized from alcohol poisoning. Archimboldi DRINK Archimboldi DRINK scary!
For those of you that loved this book......I salute you. Consider using up a credit? You have been warned.
Shantaram by David Gregory Roberts (I read part of it and lost the book on vacation, looking forward to listening to it)
I really enjoy John Lee (Seeing him as the narrator was what made me give this book a look)
Annoyance and introspection.....How could so many people love a book that simply did not resonate with me. It not like this guy is Mark Twain or Shakespeare....oh well
Usually I know if I will like a book within the first hour.
I listened for over 2 hours and I still couldnt understand what the book was about.
I feel stupid and I am disgusted that I cannot enjoy this huge book.
I was really looking forward to this. Bummer.
I guess I will just listen over and over and over so that I can get my thick mind to wrap around the story?
Someone who has a.d.d., the story jumps and at some times is incoherent.
standard, regular, boring
all of them.
"peaks and troughs"
The narrators do a good job of recounting the story. Their delivery was professional and easy on the ear, though I can't stand the way Scott Brick delivers his narratives (Frank Herbert's Helstrom's Hive put me off him for life) but in the recounting of part 4 - the crimes - he is probably well suited to evoking a sense of Bolano's Schadenfreude at the rapes and murders that he describes ad nauseum. Listening to the relentless drone I wondered if Bolano's purpose in this section of the book wasn't his own perverse pleasure but was designed to evoke a feeling of loathing for humanity from his readers - total immersion in the sense of futility of any thought of redemption for human kind. Like saying humanity has certain self-images (intelligent, sophisticated and civilised) that 'it' is constantly reinforcing to make us feel that we are not the base animals that we evolved from but that we still carry within us such instincts; and here is the evidence, and here and here and here, etc. We are either the deer or we are the tiger and either way we die eventually and usually with pain and suffering. In any case I thought section 4 laboured the point. Part 5 wasn't exactly a tea party either taking place as it does during the brutality of Europe in WWII.
Its a long haul book but worth the journey if you don't mind getting dirty and roughing it a bit along the way.
"Not for the faint heart. Left an impression"
This is so tricky. There is brilliance throughout, along with occasional tedium, and horror. Its how it comes together as a work afterwards, and on reflection. It makes other novels look a bit light.
I loved Benno Von-Archimboldi. What a brilliant name to choose for yourself, and what a confluence of ideas and themes this character represents, both to the reader, and to several of the other characters in the book.
The final chapter detailing how Haans Richter becomes Benno Von Archimboldi was very satisfying, or at least as close to that as this book comes!
Didn't make me laugh, didn't make me cry, but left me feeling contemplative for a good long time. (Still having the effect a few days after finishing.) Has also left my next book feeling really simplistic and light, Its like 2666 has changed the rules in my head for what a book should be.
There is a part of this novel which is hard to get through, The part about the murders. It is relentless, and depressing, and is the under-current to about 2/3rds of the book. It deadened me to the emotion of what was being described because i just couldn't allow myself to feel the horror for the length of time it was being described. It is an essential part of the book, and there is no getting away from it, and its link to real life events, and real life and very dark human psychology.Basically be warned! not a happy novel.
"meandering and long but interesting"
went on long bike rides to finish this, got lost in number of female deaths happening in Mexico but was good to see threads coming together at end.
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