The first three sections, up till The Part about Fate, were good. My review were positive at mid-point check: 2666-read along week 4. I was still following the train of thought and looking up on the various historical figures mentioned, until I reached The Part about the Crimes and everything fell apart….
I lost count of how many murder cases but The Part about the Crimes was full of women tortured, mutilated and murdered in the most gruesome ways, about 100 cases I gather and I couldn’t bear to read and skimmed a few pages until I reached the early part of The Part about Archimboldi, and I stopped for 8 months before I decided to give it a sprint today and finished it. I hate leaving books unfinished, but this is the longest lapse ever.
What shall I say about the book that has not been said?
The entire book evolves around a mystical figure who is a writer and a poet called Benno Von Archimboldi. A German guy called Hans Reiter seems to be related to this poet and a man named Klaus has been incarcerated in prison in suspect of those horrific murders. Now all I have to do is to find out how all the loose ends are tied up in this story. Except there was no neat ending.
The book has a lot going on. In two pages you can a person life history all laid out or a travel journal all pan in the scale of one page, so Bolano clearly made sure that his characters led a full life and there were many impressive anecdotes, trivials, history and name droppings throughout the book but does it make any point? In my view, no. Does it serves any purpose? No. Did we found out who is the killer? Now I’m going to do the harshest thing I ever did here, that is to reveal a spoiler… NO!!! so what’s the point of reading the book then?!! The answer is: I don’t know.
But if I read the chapter on “Notes to the first edition” by Ignacio Echearria, there is a fear and obsession in Bolaño that his offspring will not be taken care off once he is dead. So he wrote a long book in the hope that it will get published as five books (to make it more profitable). It also speaks of a writer who is afraid to die without getting the recognition he deserves and the feeling of not doing enough. Among Bolaño notes for 2666 there appears the single line: “The narrator of 2666 is Arturo Belano.” “for the end of 2666, and that’s it friends. I’ve done it all, I’ve lived it all. If I had the strength, I’d cry. I big you all goodbye, Arturo Belano”
In part I can appreciate that this book is the last one before Bolaño died. I would take my time trying to find the significance of such big book, although at this moment I can’t find any. Judith at Leeswammes has written a Final report on 2666 read along week 12 on the 2666 read-along and some bloggers have also provided links to many other reviews of the book that will make more sense than mine.
I hate the middle and the last bit that doesn’t mean you will too. I’ll have a lie-down after this one and keep The Savage Detective on a backburner before I muster any courage to read any of his books again.
Hardback. Publisher: Picador 2009, originally published 2002; Length: 898 pages; Setting: Mexico, America and Germany. Source: Own. Finished reading at: 30th December 2011. Translated (I’m sure painstakingly) by Natasha Wimmer)