Saturday, March 14, 2009

2666- Finished Volume 3


It's been several weeks since I last picked up Roberto Bolano's opus 2666- at a certain point around the middle of Volume 3 I got a little bored and put it aside. However, after hearing in the news this week that scholars believe they have found another volume of the book among the authors papers, I thought I should take another stab at it.

The third volume is called "The Part About Fate," Fate being Oscar Fate, an African-American reporter sent to Santa Teresa to cover a boxing match for a Harlem paper. True to form, Bolano takes a long time with Fate's backstory before Fate arrives in Mexico, and Bolano has Fate circle around the story of the multiple killings for a while before settling in on it near the end of the volume.

Fate meets a Mexican reporter researching the killings and, intrigued, is drawn in. Along the way he meets Rosa Amalfitano, the daughter of the academic from Volume Two. Critics have suggested that this volume is the weakest overall of the five making up the book; I found it to be actually rather more engaging than the first two. All three sections so far take the approach of densely detailing the backgrounds of the protagonists who are only tangentially involved in the story of the killings, but Oscar's section strikes me as the most plot-oriented of the first three and Oscar himself the most likable character.

So three down, two (or three?) to go, and though I was thinking of giving up on this one, I think I'll stick with it a little longer.

7 comments:

Lo said...

It sounds as if you have found something interesting in the book, to bring you to continue on.
~~Lorri

Lo said...

It sounds as if you have found something interesting in the book, to bring you to continue on.
~~Lorri

Ms Ulat Buku said...

Hats off to you for finishing the third book. I've heard 2666 are heavy reads which is why I haven't pick one of the books up myself. :P

Zibilee said...

I have been wanting to read this for awhile. It sounds like it can be really dense at times though. I haven't really read many reviews on it, and have been waiting to make a final decision once I hear what others think, so thanks for this. I will be waiting to hear what you think about the rest.

Alyce said...

I too have been reading reviews about this before picking it up. It seems like a pretty big committment to read from what I've read about it (the length and the style of writing).

Sandra said...

I've just completed the first section (160 pages) of the five in the book. And I'm wondering if I should go on. I love big books, the bigger the better, and I know from experience the longer the set-up, usually the bigger the payoff in reading. And being ill has effected my reading right now. I've just tried two or three books in a row that I have not liked and that is so rare for me as I choose my reading carefully. But so far all these people have done is meet at conferences, talk, write papers, and compare notes-until they meet at the next conference. Please tell me Marie, that it gets more interesting and it's worth continuing. It's a library book and I have two more weeks to read it or return it as there's a long waiting list. Thank you.

Marie said...

Sandra, if you can finish it in two weeks, go for it- I'm told it builds up to some really good stuff. Parts two and three were not electrifying but I'm going to hang in there till the end.