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(2666 #1-5)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  31,533 ratings  ·  3,779 reviews
A cuatro profesores de literatura, Pelletier, Morini, Espinoza y Norton, los une su fascinación por la obra de Beno von Archimboldi, un enigmático escritor alemán cuyo prestigio crece en todo el mundo. La complicidad se vuelve vodevil intelectual y desemboca en un peregrinaje a Santa Teresa (trasunto de Ciudad Juárez), donde hay quien dice que Archimboldi ha sido visto. Ya ...more
Paperback, Narrativas hispánicas #366, 1128 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Anagrama (first published 2004)
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Heinrich Dahms I think Bolano is like Zen: if you're looking for a point, you've missed it by definition and there's no point continuing. It's a waste of time. More …moreI think Bolano is like Zen: if you're looking for a point, you've missed it by definition and there's no point continuing. It's a waste of time. More importantly, it's ok not to like this kind of writing; it's not a bad reflection on you. Personally, when I pick a book up, I know by the end of page 1 whether this book is worth my time or not - if not, I put it down pronto and will never pick it up again. Life is too short to waste on literature or human relations that don't work for you. It's personal and that's ok. Me, I love every word Bolano writes. I couldn't be less bothered that it's an unfinished story - which it definitely is - the joy for me is in the journey. I simply love the way this writer thought and the way he conveyed his thinking in his writing. If I could be a writer, this is how I would want to write. It's pure 'ding-an-sich' - the writing is the purpose - the joy is in the journey - I do not need a higher purpose. It's like good poetry or music to me and I need no further reason to enjoy it than that I am enjoying it. I marvel, sometimes cackle out loud at his expressions, his constructions, his observations (AND I'm not even reading it in the original language, so the translation must be great too !). So anyway, my advice is: if it doesn't resonate straightaway, why waste your time? Throw it away, go for a walk, have glass of wine, whatever. Life's too short to waste on stuff that does't work for you and that's ok. And a tip: If you don't like Bolano, I would strongly advise you against trying to read Jose Saramago: I get the same pleasure out of reading him as Bolano, so those of you who don't like Bolano will probably also find Saramago's writing "pointless". (less)
Andrea Luzuriaga Si no te gusto Los Detectives Salvajes, es poco probable que te guste este, en mi opinión. Mantiene bastante el estilo de escritura, pero aparte es in…moreSi no te gusto Los Detectives Salvajes, es poco probable que te guste este, en mi opinión. Mantiene bastante el estilo de escritura, pero aparte es incluso mas tedioso.(less)

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Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-lit
Roberto Bolaño's 2666 has been described as "the most electrifying literary event of the year" (Lev Grossman, Time), as "a landmark in what's possible for the novel as a form" (Jonathan Lethem, The New York Times Book Review), as "a work of devastating power and complexity" (Adam Mansbach, The Boston Globe), as "the work of a literary genius" (Francine Prose, Harper's Magazine), and, repeatedly, as a masterpiece.

Adam Kirsch of writes that "2666 is an epic of whispers and details, full
Jul 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
the english version hasn’t come out yet.
it comes out in november.
no spoilers. just here to make three points:

1) the blood and guts
2) the disaster
3) the women

1) y’know that bookbuzz you get when you’re walking around the world and it’s all colored with the life of the book you’re reading? 894 pages of bolano’s epic and i felt like the guy in those 50s sci-fi movies who gets shrunk down real small and is injected into someone’s body. except it’s a book. and i’m in there flapping around amongst
Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: some guy on the internet
I hate these star ratings. I'm docking this baby one, because I honestly don't believe there's any way he was finished. This book wasn't done! I didn't read the Introduction and I'm not clear on the back story, but my vague understanding is that Bolaño died after sending this thing to his publisher, who claims it was ready to go, but seriously, man, I just can't believe that. This book is almost great. Parts of it are totally mindblowing, but the fact of the matter is, I'm convinced that it need ...more
Sean Barrs
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who have read everything and are looking for a literary monstrosity that will horrify them.
With as much creative energy as Joyce’s Ulysses, and with as much history and depth as Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Bolano’s magnum opus is a bold statement against literature itself. However, with such a book comes all the tedium you would expect from Moby Dick. As a result, this book will only be truly great for a small selection of very patient readers.

Now let me unpack that a little. 2666 is a book about masterpieces; it is a book about writing books that don’t quite fit literar
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Somewhere inside this extraordinary oasis, some critics of literature proclaim that a specific book under discussion is “hard to follow,” “chaotic,” “half finished,” & “suspect.” This type of cheeky self-evaluation, so incredibly hidden and almost non-existent is what makes Bolaño a worthy candidate for any of the major global literature prizes. A fellow classmate said that this was as daunting, as time consuming, as reading El Quixote, but I would like to add that the epic convention from Cerva ...more
Adam Dalva
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a novel this is - long, ambitious, unfinished. It is in some ways a work of desperation, written by a dying man, thrumming with the worst kinds of violence. And yet, these 900 intertwining pages speak to the beauty and timelessness of art too, and the enduring nature of criticism. At once literary and vivid - the cascading depictions of over 100 murdered women, taking on the mass murders in Ciudad Juarez of the mid 90's is one of the most harrowing sequences I know of, defying the idea that ...more
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 brilliant genius stars!!

Nothing I write will do this book any justice. I wish I had the time to write a deep thought provoking essay on this modern masterpiece but instead I will write a few words about how I felt about this book and how greatly it impacted me.

This book hurt my brain and touched my heart. It was magical, frightening, beautiful, harrowing, shocking, mesmerizing and exceptional. At times this book entered my dreams at night and I pondered about it during the day. It was as if th
Steven Godin
Bolaño has not only smashed my expectations to smithereens, he has restored my faith in the brick-sized novel (of which I have never been a big fan). 2666 was simply an astonishing reading experience, one that doesn't come along very often. My wrists went through hell trying to hold the darn thing, and I was deprived of much needed sleep, but it was worth every moment. Reading the last 50 pages or so at snail pace was inevitable, as I simply didn't want it to end.

Divided into five loosely conne
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Animate! Immerse! Revive!

This big, fat book sat lifeless, intimidating, unread on my shelf for several years. I loved the cover, but I didn't particularly like the shape of the book itself. It was a brick. Somehow its dimensions seemed to be disproportionate. For a long time, I made excuses, then, finally, prompted by two GR friends, I made a spontaneous decision. I opened it and started to read...

I immersed myself in a world of revelation for ten days. I still feel the preternatural reverberati
Paul Bryant
Feb 17, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If that tosser Ian Graye can trash Infinite Jest in so unseemly a fashion then all I can say is....


IJ : choose your weapons, fatso.

2666: Fuck man, what is this, the 14th century?

IJ : I didn’t organise this, I don’t make the rules

2666: what’s going on here anyway? We were both written by dead guys and now they have cruelly pitted us against each other for the tacky reality-tv-WWF-style pleasure of this m
Dec 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, 2009, not-so-much
I accept that I'll probably get flamed for this, but enough is enough: this maddening, rapacious, and occasionally compelling book is making my life miserable. Will I finish it? Will it matter? Let me say for the record that I counted myself as a likely enthusiast -- I fit the profile -- but after a long, protracted battle, can't bring myself to sing along with the choir to which Bolano is preaching. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if we're so enslaved as readers to the cult of the author that w ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2010 only)
Before reaching the last 100 pages of the book, I was bored. I was beginning to be afraid that the 33 early mornings when I had to wake up at 3:00 or 4:00 am just to read my target 20-30 pages of this book everyday would all be wasted. There were many questions and loose ends in my mind and I was already wondering if, in the end part, Bolano would care to tie them all up. You see, this book was published posthumously and one of the reviews here in Goodreads seemed to indicate that this was an un ...more
MJ Nicholls
Original Review:

A five-book moribund monsterpiece from Chile’s most profitable and posthumously prodigious literary export. Each book has its own narrative identity while retaining the Bolaño stamp: sprawling sentences savaged by commas, a free indirect style where dialogue blends with prose and narrative position hops from person to person, strange poetic waves of readable and glorious prose, and nasty sex. The Part About the Critics is the funniest section: a suckerpunch satire where a cast of
This read tried my patience at first but eventually hooked me. It’s got the power to change the way you look at life and possibly make you a better human. For anyone considering reading the book, the challenge of its length and content calls for a significant basis to make the decision. Hence the unfortunate length of this review.

There are so many plot elements, diversions, and ideas in this book that it felt like drinking from a firehose. And, boy, did it quench my thirst. Bolaño doesn’t preac
Michael Ferro
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Roberto Bolaño's 2666 definitely changed the way I read fiction. I first read this massive posthumous tome years ago when I was still searching to uncover my own style and much of this novel lodged itself into the dark corners of my mind. There have been many times where I will be doing some thoughtless task and suddenly a nugget of truth from 2666 will pop into the forefront of my brain; to me, this is the ultimate litmus test for a good book—you can't shake it, even years later.

Bolaño's writi
David Schaafsma
This is a kinda first draft response to this book, 900 pages, roughly 39 hours of listening, which I sometimes read and sometimes listened to, a buddy read with Chris. Definitely cut into my comics and YA reading, for sure. Also, I did not read anything about Bolano or this novel along the way, and still don’t know what I don’t know about it. I heard a short postscript about it from the publisher to say that Bolano was dying as he wrote it, and intended it to be released as five separate books, ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a moment in the second part of 2666 where Amalfitano laments the tendency of readers to favour the short, perfect works of the literary masters, over the great, imperfect ones. This novel is clearly Bolaño's attempt at the latter, from a writer who knew that in all likelihood it would be his last.

The novel is unfinished, though not so much in the sense of being incomplete, but it lacks polish, as if Bolaño did not have sufficient time for revision before he died. It is beautifully pace
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: in 2666 I'll surely be dead
Recommended to Mariel by: a guy I'm no longer friends with
If things work out, and sometimes they don't, you're back in the presence of sacred. You burrow your head into your own chest and open your eyes and watch." (That's from page 315. Probably my favorite page in 2666.)

There were times when reading 2666 that I feared it was going to kill my love of reading. Kill it like some death toll statistics. Impersonal and I wasn't there. Somewhere far away, at someone else's hands. I'd forget my longings and not pick up another book. My hands eyes would go em
A monumental novel, which is rightly considered to be one of the most essential novels of the 21st century. It covers such a wide range of characters, places and subjects that it is very difficult to review quickly, and I am unlikely to have anything very new to say about it. This is my first experience of reading Bolaño, and this book is the subject of a discussion which I am currently leading for the 21st Century Literature group here

Overall I found this a very stimulating reading experience,
Mike Puma
So many intelligent and thoughtful reviews already exist for 2666 that another, one from the School of Redundancy School, seems like a waste of time that would be better spent rereading any of Bolaño’s works. This is one that will haunt me, one for my To Reread shelf, then for my To Rereread shelf. What I look forward to most—Bolaño-freak that I am—are the inevitable volumes of Bolaño criticism to come and the opportunity to reread RB’s writing along with them, bumping what now are 4-star rating ...more
Oct 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written under the specter of his own death, Roberto Bolano's "2666" is a statement of the capacity of cruelty that resides in the darkest heart of humanity. The novel is really five novellas, thematically tied together, and centering around the fictional Santa Teresa (Cuidad Juarez in our world) where hundreds of young women are being raped and murdered. The plot of the novel takes a back seat to the real driving force which is the nightmare deathscape of Santa Teresa. There is some great yarn s ...more
Lee Klein
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Something wholly positive that can be said about 2666 is that it's not summarizable in plot or theme -- its dimensions suggest the entirety of life on earth. Seriously! And so all I can really think to do is offer a telling quotation: ". . . history, which is a simple whore, has no decisive moments but is a proliferation of instants, brief interludes that vie with one another in monstrousness." At times, especially early on (first 300 pages), I sometimes impatiently derided this monster as a hyb ...more
Christopher Howard
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mexico, bolano
This will be a bad review of this book. They are really only notes. You will only maybe get it if you
1. have read the book
2. know me personally
3. are interested in things I am interested in
4. are interested in things I think Bolaño was interested in
5. enjoy reading something you know could be expressed more simply.

This was a personal read for me because of course I was there when I read it. This felt however like a very impersonal book. Or at least a book concerned (and genuinely concerned) with
This is one of those books that surpasses anything positive or negative I might manage to say about it. This is one of those books that I can say with a fair amount of certainty actually consumed me. I thought about it constantly while I was reading it, and while enough time has not passed since I finished it this morning, I am fairly certain I will be thinking about it regularly for quite some time. I showed it to someone at work and said it would be the kind of book to cause my brain to explod ...more
Vit Babenco
With 2666 Roberto Bolaño wished to write his own Garden of Forking Paths but he failed. The paths neither fork nor converge – they lead nowhere. The novel is monstrously ambitious and off-colour, and that’s all there is to it.
“Deep inside, all of us ventriloquists, one way or another, know that once the bastards reach a certain level of animation, they come to life. They suck life from the performances. They suck it from the ventriloquist's capillaries. They suck it from the applause. And espec
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rb-et-al
Occasionally a book comes along whose peculiar title is the sole purpose of the purchase. Immediately commencing on the initial pages, it plunges you in a labyrinth of complete brouhaha enmeshing every demented string whilst deciphering normalization of reasoning. And as the book concludes, you emerge with a smile of gratification as you have been just mesmerized by the aura of a genius.

2666 is a metaphysical necropolis of the cavernously hidden trepidation and disparagement that frequently seek
Jul 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2666 is not Christ on the cross, not the “masterpiece,” but rather one or both of the flanking thieves conceived as symmetry that conceals.

Bolaño has been quoted as eloquently stating that magic realism “stinks,” which evokes the carbuncled teenager rebelling against the paterfamilias. In this case, the god known as Gabo who hovers over all of Spanish literature and who runs a monopoly on the word ‘solitude.’ This rebellion, or whatever you want to call it, has resulted in a book that is manacli
L.S. Popovich
Read on a cruise ship. And I remember very little else about the cruise itself. This was eight years ago, but the book stands out in my mind, murky but stamped among the convolutions of my hippocampus.

This book reaffirmed why I love reading. It is a book of literary mysteries. First, the structure of 5 intertwined novels, its unfinished nature and the unexplained title lend to its mystique, and combine to baffle as they entertain. Beyond all this intrigue and amid the sinusoid life of its obliqu
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: infinite-books
Some pages into 2666 I started to wonder where I had seen this technique before, Bolano’s scenes, his sometimes brief, sometimes protracted, sometimes linear and sometimes anachronistic vignettes (little bricks with white mortar in between that compose the foundation of this monster of a book). Then I remembered, Joyce employed the same style in the Wandering Rocks section of Ulysses (the one that starts with “The superior, the very reverend John Conmee S.J. reset his smooth watch…”). The Wander ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

Reportage, (probably) not Reviewage .....

I’ve already, even before I read them, paired this brick with DeLillo’s brick. So no complaints.

The two have a few superficial things in common. Probably more than superficial, especially taking into account how my reading habits and predilections filtered them. Again, no complaints please.

First is obvious and let’s just round up or down to a nice round eight or 900 pages each. Second, they are both wildly popular. Just look at them numbers. I mean, they
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Boxall's 1001 Bo...: November {2019} Discussion -- 2666 by Roberto Bolaño 11 76 Dec 07, 2019 02:57AM  
Reading 1001: 2666 - Bolano 4 20 Nov 30, 2019 09:45AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add page number 2 15 Nov 27, 2019 02:20AM  
CdC - Gruppo di l...: Libro #34 - 2666 2 25 Nov 14, 2019 08:41AM  
Archimoldi: Part I be Part V 2 20 Nov 12, 2019 05:48PM  
Vampires, Weres a...: 2666 26 22 Mar 24, 2019 08:32AM  
21st Century Lite...: 2666 - Whole Book and links between parts (Spoilers allowed) (Mar 2018) 27 68 May 23, 2018 12:45PM  

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For most of his early adulthood, Bolaño was a vagabond, living at one time or another in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain.

Bolaño moved to Europe in 1977, and finally made his way to Spain, where he married and settled on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona, working as a dishwasher, a campground custodian, bellhop and garbage collector — working during the day and writing at night.


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