Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2666 by Roberto Bolano- First Thoughts

So the poll I ran other day about what to read next ended with a tie between Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog and Roberto Bolano's 2666; since 2666 was a gift from my husband (and someone gave him a copy as well) I decided to start reading 2666.

I have the three-volume paperback edition; the first volume is divided into three main sections and I'm about a third of the way through the first part, which translates into about 50 pages. I'm not going to blog the whole book (or maybe I will?) but I felt like writing a little of my first impressions of this very long and highly-lauded book.

Okay, so the first fifty pages. They're very heavy on exposition and very light on dialogue and action per se; the plot concerns four academics, all specialists on a particular and mysterious German writer with an Italian name and a murky background. In this tight-knit group there are three men and one woman, all close friends. As I round page 50 they were embroiled in a love triangle, with two of the men involved with the woman.

Bolano's style so far is matter-of-fact and engrossing enough; right now I'm wondering where it's all going, because it's hard to see it going in this vein for much longer. Bolano is narrating what seems like an extended premise or set-up, accompanied by occasional rambles and asides made of sentences lasting as long as a page. I'm wondering how important the information delivered in these asides will be as we go forward.

Bolano has definitely got me hooked though- I'm interested to stick around for the rest of this ride and can't wait to see where it goes!

8 comments:

Ms Ulat Buku said...

I've been wanting to read 2666 for some time as well. Do keep us updated on your thoughts on the book once you're finished...

Ms Ulat Buku said...

Hi Marie. Am awarding you with the Butterfly Award. Love your blog. xox

Lenore said...

YAY - this is the one I voted for you to read. Interested to see how you like it as you go on!

wisteria said...

Marie, I like your little survey. I might steal that idea. Very cute.

I have wanted to buy 2666, but now it is a daunting read. I'm glad to know you felt he caught your attention. I trust your judgement and will add this one to the mountain of books to read:) Thanks

mominsanity said...

I really want to read this book. I have The Savage Detectives...

Alyce said...

I look forward to seeing what you think about the rest of the book.

Ali said...

I enjoyed reading your take on the beginning and I hope you'll keep blogging about it because this is one of those books that I keep hearing about but I just don't want to read. Would love to read it vicariously through you. :-)

Anna said...

I've never heard of 2666. Sounds interesting. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on it.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric