brian 's Reviews > 2666

2666 by Roberto Bolaño
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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 the blood and guts and bones and bile and brains of this thing.

i love these big sprawling novels that can't be reduced to a single theme, or even a few themes. 2666 is shot through with so many goddamn ideas, is so all over the place, sloppy and strange, with temporal and geographical shifts, recurring images and motifs, characters and names -- and just the furthest thing from any kind of recognizable or coherent 'epic'. bolano’s not pushing the snowball down the hill, watching it gain in mass and volume… he’s drunkenly tossed a million little snowballs down there and, yeah, some are substantive and gain in size, get bigger as they go… but others flatten out and disappear or pop into snowdust as they run against trees and rocks...

2) godard complained, that in watching visconti’s Senso, he was more interested by what he imagined happened after the fade-out then in the scenes themselves. in response, he shot Pierrot le Fou, a film containing all the stuff surrounding what other narrative artists would consider the ‘story' -- this is kinda like what bolano’s book is: a mad collage of all the befores and afters, a high-velocity mishmash of the irrelevant and irreverent, and, truth be told... something of a disaster. yeah. and it’s also the most compelling thing i’ve read in a long time.

from 2666:

“He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby Dick… What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.”

this is bolano engaged in serious fucking combat. infinitely more interesting than an author confidently sitting down at her desk, prepared to write a prose perfect, stream-lined, classy piece of work. boo!

3) at the core of 2666 is a fictional retelling of the ‘female murders’ of juarez. y'know about this? well, if it happened here or in europe, you’d have heard about it. naw, that’s not true. if it happened here or in europe, it wouldn’t have gotten this far. the fuckers would’ve been caught long ago (and, as against the death penalty as i may be, i wish they were caught here rather than mexico so we could fry 'em straight to hell) – well, as of 2008, the killers are estimated to have (vaginally and anally) raped and murdered (strangled, shot, set on fire, mutilated, stabbed, beaten) about 900 women. and that’s a low estimate.

along with descriptions of the serial murders are included descriptions of women murdered not by the killer(s), but by boyfriends and husbands and fathers and sons and johns...

why? well, if there is one lone serial killer or a related 'band' of killers it’s of dramatic interest... but that’s about it. what matters, what’s actually happening over there on a sociocultural level is infinitely more horrifying – the women of juarez are being physically treated as they’ve been spiritually and symbolically regarded for a long time. the murders, and the fact that they continue, that this isn’t treated as a national emergency... well, it kind of makes sense. the madonna is home, she’s safe, virginal, taken care of and taking care of... the ones who are murdered, well, they must be the Whore, no? (stop -- don't ask how the Madonna is possibly supposed to survive in a broken post-NAFTA society) .

the women of juarez are hated. and feared. the men fear the women. and the murders mean more than murder.

well, this ain’t the forum for this kinda thing and i certainly don’t wanna get all serious on y’all. but check this book out if you’re interested...

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18...

and read 2666. i don’t know if it’s a ‘great’ book. but I know this: i read it two weeks ago and i can’t stop thinking about it.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 6, 2008 – Shelved

Comments Showing 51-88 of 88 (88 new)

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message 51: by [deleted user] (new)

HA!


message 52: by [deleted user] (new)

I blame Steev.


message 53: by [deleted user] (new)

Steev is so pissed off right now.


message 54: by Malbadeen (new)

Malbadeen I have no idea what the rest of the content in this (which is important because after glancing at it seems as though it might be a tad on the offensive side and far be it from me to offend anyone) but I did see that steve is getting blamed for something and I just wanted to add that, I too, blame steve...for everything...always...under any circumstance.


Jason hi Steev.


message 56: by Sarah (last edited Sep 08, 2008 03:30PM) (new)

Sarah Jessica: Um, back atchya? (Though I always appreciate a good Morrissey reference.)

Brian: (msg. 60) oh, my, sooooo many comments... must... be... good... *claps hands over mouth*


message 57: by [deleted user] (new)

Marie, you're thinking of the Steve who spells his name correctly.


message 58: by Malbadeen (last edited Sep 08, 2008 04:50PM) (new)

Malbadeen oops - oh well, I blame Steve Mort for the confusion.


message 59: by Sarah (last edited Sep 08, 2008 05:24PM) (new)

Sarah I heard Steve Mort causes global warming and wrote the screenplay to Glitter!


message 60: by [deleted user] (new)

Um... that's not me, that's my super HOTNESS!!!


message 61: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 08, 2008 05:45PM) (new)

And don't forget Mort's Madeleine Albright fetish...

(Seriously, Steev, I'm done with this thread. Promise. This thread is so three weeks ago.)


message 62: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 08, 2008 09:39PM) (new)

Donald, I crush him at DDR, but that's it. Someday I might crush him at chess...













...but probably not. Fucker.


message 63: by Bram (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:05AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bram and read 2666. i don’t know if it’s a ‘great’ book. but I know this: i read it two weeks ago and i can’t stop thinking about it.

Nine months later, I still think about this book on a semi-regular basis, which, considering how much fantastic stuff I've read in the meantime, is pretty amazing. I think it's a 'great' book.


message 64: by Ben (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:27AM) (new)

Ben That's nice, Bram, but what I really wannt to know is what Selve thought of it.


message 65: by [deleted user] (new)

Ooooh! I wonder if the new posts will summon Steev!


message 66: by Bram (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bram Who? What? Maybe I need to read through the comments...


message 67: by Ben (new)

Ben I'm more curious about Selve.


message 68: by [deleted user] (new)

Selve was fake. It's much harder to believe Steev was real.


message 69: by Bram (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bram I'm not even done, but this is one hell of a thread.

Classic exchange:

message 38: by brian
09/05/2008 09:02PM

you're stuck with us (or more unfortunately, we're stuck with you) unless you delete your posts. sorry.

because i'm a huge fucking prick, steev, and because of the way you spell your name, i refuse to let this thread die... if only to pile onto your email like 20 border cops on a half-dead dehydrated pollo...

message 39: by Steev
09/06/2008 08:35AM

yeah, i'd have to agree with that. how'd you get that way?

message 40: by brian
09/06/2008 09:21AM

hung around too many self serious masochists...



Is Selve you, David? Profile says Indiana...


message 70: by Ben (new)

Ben I believe in Selve like I believe in the sun, not because I can see him, but because I see all that he touches.


message 71: by [deleted user] (new)

Put on your glasses, Bram. 'Selve' is from India.


message 72: by Bram (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bram Jayzus! Like I said in the other thread, I'm a bit antsy today. Maybe I didn't put in my contacts.

Anyway, I'm not sure I trust your predictions about who's real anymore. Gary seems to be sticking to his story. And he's still popping into threads and people are voting for his writing entries.


message 73: by Ben (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:42AM) (new)

Ben Bram wrote: "Jayzus! Like I said in the other thread, I'm a bit antsy today. Maybe I didn't put in my contacts."

It's marriage. You should get a divorce.


message 74: by Bram (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bram Haha, it could be the marriage. Or, this: http://www.boston.com/news/local/mass...


...which happened 10 feet from my cubicle yesterday. Ok, more like 25 feet. But still.


message 75: by [deleted user] (new)

Holy shit.


message 76: by Ben (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:47AM) (new)

Ben That is freakin' wild, Bram!

Also, I've noticed that David was absolutely correct about Gary in regards to his books. Before I rate something I look at the ratings from friends. Three times I've rated a book that he gave four or five stars, only to look back later to see -- after having rated it myself -- that he changed it to his "to-read" shelf, so as to avoid a conversation about it.


message 77: by Bram (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bram I'm almost shat my pants when he opened fire...was definitely on Goodreads at the time.


message 78: by Bram (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bram Ben wrote: "That is freakin' wild, Bram!

Also, I've noticed that David was absolutely correct about Gary in regards to his books. Before I rate something I look at the ratings from friends. Three times I'..."


Ha! Ok, that makes more sense then. He was neck and neck with young Matthew for the race to read the entire Western Canon and then some.


message 79: by Ben (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:49AM) (new)

Ben My boss saw my GR screen for the first time the other day. He didn't say anything, but it's not a good situation to be in.


message 80: by Bram (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bram Ben wrote: "My boss saw my GR screen for the first time the other. He didn't say anything, but it's not a good situation to be in."

Yeah, I've been using the alt-tab trick that David taught me like a fiend. The writing is almost rubbed off those keys.


message 81: by Ben (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:56AM) (new)

Ben I do that too. What got me was leaving my computer without locking it (something I almost never forget to do, unless I make sure that something work related is left on the screen). I came back from the bathroom, sat down, and GR was staring back at me, along with a note from my boss on my keyboard.


message 82: by Bram (last edited Oct 28, 2009 07:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bram Oooh, cringe.


Let's get back to Steev for a moment. Was there really a time when people expected comments to stay on topic?


message 83: by Ben (last edited Oct 28, 2009 08:02AM) (new)

Ben David?

(I didn't start using GR socially until February, and it was, at that time, the same glorious A.D.D. Fest that it is now.)


Brady Fish Not in topic with this flameforum BUT I read an English translation of 2666 roughly 6 years ago . . .


Sandro Lindson should someone read "Alexandria Quartet" "The Savage Detectives" or any of Sebald's work (or even some other novel) for a better comprehension of 2666?


Alejandro lol, i've had this book sitting on my bookshelf for years.... in ENGLISH.


message 87: by Thubten (new)

Thubten Dorje lol yeah the english version came out years ago!


Jason brian I'm tearing through this book and the tone for the part bout the murders is perfect a sense of real doom to it and this is the tune il be reading to!! https://youtu.be/80sCcPGF7KU


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