Alexandra Brown

Can anyone who has read the book tell me at what point this so-called 'amazing' Bolano story grabs you?

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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 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".
Mara The first dream sequence in the Part about the Critics.
Derek Holden I am on page 152, and only began reading a few days ago. I've never read something contemporary that felt so like classic literature. It reminds me of Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov," which if you ask me is simply the best novel ever written. Bolaño's prose is just so melancholy and descriptive, and not something I would ordinarily become so attached to, yet here I am. I have not enjoyed a book like this in years. As for when it grabbed me, the mystery surrounding the enigmatic and hermit-like Archimboldi was exactly the sort of plot point to intrigue me from the start.
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis On page 10 where it stands, "...a lecture given by an old professor from Berlin on the works of Arno Schmidt..."

Also, the sentence that begins on page 18.

Of course, one is already sold by page 3.
Rick The beginning of the second paragraph on the opening page of the novel, page 3.

Having established a bit of background about Pelletier's exposure to Archimboldi's writing, he lays out Pelletier's obsession with learning more about the writer.

It absolutely hooked me and I was committed from that point on.

Connor Bolano is one of the only writers that makes me want to write. Like listening to particularly inventive or creative music makes me want to be a songwriter. Or great, beautiful films make me want to be a film director. I've asked myself what it is about Bolano's writing that is so great and I have trouble pinning it down to style or technical ability- it's like watching a Kubrick film. It feels beyond me but I'm invited in to experience it and get a sense of true genius
Marianne Alexandra, I JUST finished 2666, and it grabbed me from the first page....it was a long hard slog at times, but the shifting dyanmics of the book, the lengthy weave, more life like than any of those chronologically killer books like Allende and Wild Swans, no, Bolano has interwoven, with complete genius, the life of a protagonist through many of the implications and effects his life path had on others. It is brilliant to the last moment, and if you let it go, you are only going to have to start again. It is so-called 'amazing' because it is. To understand its complexity and its genius, it requires you read all five books, and you read every word, and you listen to what Bolano is telling you. This author took time, a life, to write, rewrite, to revise, to begin again, to question, to challenge himself constantly. To respect this author is to journey through the work with him. It is worth the travel.
Pat Bretheim I am on p. 238 and it is just so boring, I don't know if I can bring myself to finish.
Jerrod Never. (This parenthetical is written because Goodreads doesn't accept one-word responses).
Aiko Akers I read 300 pages and it never grabbed me. I found the characters flat if not outright detestable, the dream sequences insipid, and the language dull. I gave the book another shot a few years later, read 300 pages AGAIN, and put it down in disgust. (You can read my review for my more detailed thoughts). If you don't like it within the first 20 pages, it doesn't get better. In my view, only the best of the Victorian writers get 200 pages to get interesting. There are too many good books to read in the world.
Phil Yes, that's easy ... Page 1.
Warren Courtney I am half way through, and although the book is very pleasant to read, in terms of writing not the content, I am being to think of speed reading the next 100 to 300 pages as the pages after the half way point seem to be repeats of earlier pages. The author seems to be indicating the complexity and shear volume of the problems of the murders of women in this city and the lack of police resources. Unlike most mysteries about serial killers the police officer must deal with many other crimes, he cannot devote all his time to the serial killer. And while many women are killed a substantial portion of the murders are done by husbands or live in partners, even sorting out which murders are committed by a serial killer is difficult to determine. Hopefully there will be a sharper focus in the story at some point, but as the location is Mexico, perhaps a lack of focus is part of the situation.

For now I will keep reading on at about 50 pages before taking a break.
Jacek Ambroziak I am glad I found this discussion. Started '2666' yesterday, with high expectations, and already this morning decided to do something about my doubts. Returning the book immediately.
Low Rents District It grabbed me in the end when Bolano describes the birth of Hans Reiter and continues to chronicle the life of Arcimboldo...wow!
Βασίλης Γιόκαρης Αt no point at all. This is not about a story. This is pure suffering in its finest form.
Luis I know this is a very old thread, but still I'm gonna ventilate here: I was pretty hooked with the book right from the start till I got to part 4, where it then become a very very hard read to go through. I know what the intention probably was, but still...
Aldo Aspilcueta I felt attached to it from the first page..there is something strange lurking around these pages that attracted me to keep reading regardless the length of the book
Antal Rutz If this book just let's you start reading more and fetching info about femicides in Ciudad Juarez, it was already worth it.
I read a lot about those crimes against women in Mexico but the 4th part of 2666 just made it so realistic but also profane at the same time, it just hooked me.

However this book has more layers not just that, which is the centerpiece of it, though.

The length (and according to someone the storytelling style, too) can be compered to Karamazovs, but unfortunately I lost my patience at half of Dostoevsky's famous novel, but this one just grabbed me.
Staci Marie I started enjoying it more once Liz Norton told Pelletier and Espinoza that they were friend zoned lol.
Matt Musselman Honestly, I found the first "Part about the Critics" just tolerable, but the promise of more interesting territory ahead kept me going.

The "Part About Amalfitano" was somewhat more interesting, and when I reached the "Part About Fate" I was really hooked.

Now I'm working my way through the "Part About the Crimes", and it's compelling, but I admit I have to put it down from time to time just because of the sheer horror of it. And in general, I concur with the comments of a few others that it's okay if this book isn't everyone's cup of tea. Similarly, everyone seems to adore Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" and compare it to other novels I adored, but I just hated it and finally quit.
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