THE POSTHUMOUS MASTERWORK FROM "ONE OF THE GREATEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL MODERN WRITERS" (JAMES WOOD, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW ) Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolano's life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of SantaTeresa - a fictional Juarez - on the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers,in the novel as in life, have disappeared.
"*Starred Review* Literature is of life and death significance in the fiction and poetry of ex-pat Chilean writer Bolaño, who passed away at age 50 in 2003, soon after completing this gyring novel of magnitude and vision. A storyteller with a global perspective, adept at juggling a dizzying array of voices, plotlines, allusions, emotions, and revelations with deadpan humor and utter seriousness, Bolaño begins this epic with a tale of four critics in search of a missing novelist. A Frenchman, a Spaniard, a wheelchair-bound Italian, and an Englishwoman discover their shared ardor for the German writer Benno von Archimboldi at a literary conference and join forces in a quest to find him. Their zigzag search, conveyed in sentences that run for pages, leads to the Mexican city of Santa Teresa, where a professor named Amalfitano is slowly losing his mind. He's not alone in his distress: hundreds of women have been killed and mutilated in Santa Teresa. As Bolaño fictionalizes the unsolved murders of the women of Juárez in a harrowing litany, yoking the macabre with the ludicrous, his journalists are helpless witnesses, including an African American named Oscar Fate, who is supposed to be covering a boxing match, and a local, Guadalupe, who tells him, No one pays attention to these killings, but the secret of the world is hidden in them. As the full story of Archimboldi rises to the surface of this vortex of bizarre connections and churning evil and links the genocide of World War II with the Santa Teresa murders, Bolaño injects irony and tragedy into this volcanic symphony of dreams, memories, dispatches, movies, news, confessions, hallucinations, and musings. Who is remembered and who is erased? How is coherence sustained when chaos rages? How do we live within the maelstrom of mass murder? Madness is contagious, thinks Amalfitano. Life is unbearably sad, says Guadalupe. And girls jump rope, singing a song about a woman being dismembered. In this gorgeously translated inferno of a masterpiece, Bolaño's scope is cosmic, his artistry incendiary, his compassion universal.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2009 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Starred Review. Last year's The Savage Detectives by the late Chilean-Mexican novelist Bolaño (1953-2003) garnered extraordinary sales and critical plaudits for a complex novel in translation, and quickly became the object of a literary cult. This brilliant behemoth is grander in scope, ambition and sheer page count, and translator Wimmer has again done a masterful job. The novel is divided into five parts (Bolaño originally imagined it being published as five books) and begins with the adventures and love affairs of a small group of scholars dedicated to the work of Benno von Archimboldi, a reclusive German novelist. They trace the writer to the Mexican border town of Santa Teresa (read: Juarez), but there the trail runs dry, and it isn't until the final section that readers learn about Benno and why he went to Santa Teresa. The heart of the novel comes in the three middle parts: in The Part About Amalfitano, a professor from Spain moves to Santa Teresa with his beautiful daughter, Rosa, and begins to hear voices. The Part About Fate, the novel's weakest section, concerns Quincy Fate Williams, a black American reporter who is sent to Santa Teresa to cover a prizefight and ends up rescuing Rosa from her gun-toting ex-boyfriend. The Part About the Crimes, the longest and most haunting section, operates on a number of levels: it is a tormented catalogue of women murdered and raped in Santa Teresa; a panorama of the power system that is either covering up for the real criminals with its implausible story that the crimes were all connected to a German national, or too incompetent to find them (or maybe both); and it is a collection of the stories of journalists, cops, murderers, vengeful husbands, prisoners and tourists, among others, presided over by an old woman seer. It is safe to predict that no novel this year will have as powerful an effect on the reader as this one. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved."
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