I have been staring at my computer screen, trying my hardest to summarise Roberto Bolano’s posthumous work, 2666 and trust me it’s mighty difficult as it’s plotlines cross and reoccur like a Tarantino film script.
The book is divided into five parts and the whole thing revolves the Mexican city of Santa Teresa (basically it’s Ciudad Juarez, where over 200 murders of women took place). It also features a mysterious writer called Benno Von Archimboldi and not only that there’s a menage a quatres, an insane intellectual, a sports journalist PLUS tips on how to barbeque meat properly,Duchamp, different phobias and the myth of Sisyphus and we are still scraping the surface.
Mainly I see it as a novel about death and the devolution of the human being. Killings and murders do feature prominently so I assume that i’m correct. But, as I said before there much more. How about the plight of being a writer or the problems of war??
Eventually, in the fifth part everything is tied up and that is when the novel makes sense.
Bolano’s characters all have an evil streak to them and contain no redeeming factors whatsoever. Despite this onslaught of pessimism, 2666 is a momentous novel. Dazzling and intelligent from beginning to end. However I admit I have never read such a frustrating, mind boggling, meandering book either (at least Pynchon’s novels all return to their focal point. 2666 just keeps on opening loose end after loose end)
It is not easy but VERY rewarding, especially when you reach the fifth book. Novel of the decade? oh yes definitely. NOTHING will come close to this.