Emma's Reviews > 2666

2666 by Roberto Bolaño
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Jan 25, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, crime, epic, fiction, kinda-sad-to-wrenching, latin-america, underbelly, abduction, writers-and-writing, war, misanthropic, holocaust-ww2, germany-and-central-europe, family_families, academics
Read from March 03 to April 28, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Well, it's hard to know how many stars to give this book. If the whole thing was as great as the last 'part about Archimboldi' I'd be going for five stars. I feel it got really bogged down in the central 'part about the crimes'; just relentless. And I almost gave up when I was on the part about Fate. This was a book that required a great leap of faith to work through. I do think it's changed me a little bit, and I respect ambition, absolutely. I do believe that not all the digressions were required, and I don't just mean the small digressions of a couple of pages. Is it rude to look at such a work and go 'yeah, about 300 pages less in the middle woulda been great'?

I feel a bit too overwhelmed to really review this properly. I might have to come back to it.

And I feel pretty sad for Juarez, which appears to have been the model for Santa Teresa.

What is it I expect from a novel, anyway? I don't even know. I feel fuller, but also somehow more empty too.

OK, I'm upping it to 4 stars, but I think I can never read it again.

**edit**
Every time I looked at my book list I was like 'wha'? four stars?' so I upped it to five. This is a book that I utterly inhabited and I don't mean in like a Harry Potter kind of rollicking kind of way, but like ... oh, how to articulate? It takes you over, like ... something that takes you over (possession? drug addiction?). I guess I mean it inhabited me. And I feel like it's just really still with me. I feel like, I didn't even know what he was doing at the time (and I suspect he could even have done it better) but now I've got this having-read-this-book thing inside me. There aren't that many books that feel so real. Like a body is real. Oh I don't know. For once I'm preferring the stars to the words. Five of them, there it is.

Close generic good-literature-appears-to-be-meaningful quasi-review.
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Reading Progress

03/04 page 8
1.0% "Just like to have some pages in there ..."
03/09 page 52
6.0% "so far so good. I have no clue where this might be going, which passt mir gut."
03/15 page 175
19.0% "I'm really liking his digressions into smaller side stories. It's the kind of thing that *could* give you the shits, but it doesn't."
03/17 page 200
22.0% "I am going to be reading this forever unless I step up the pace."
03/24 page 227
25.0% "losing a bit of faith."
04/12 page 435
48.0% "It's taken me to halfway through the book to really feel involved in it, but finally, I do. Now I'm actually looking forward to continuing."
04/15 page 550
61.0% "relentless crime. gimme part 5"
04/25 page 679
76.0% "I don't know, some parts of it are just great, but it's also repetitious and rambling. some of the digressions are the best parts, the stories within stories, but at other times it's like, 'where is this going?'"
06/13 marked as: read
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