To paraphrase Jay Sherman: On the Shermometer this book rates an absolute zero! BRRR!

I initially selected this book for three reasons: 1) I had never read anything by Roberto Bolano  2) it had the two magic words “serial killer” in the description and 3) it was available at my local library branch.

I disliked this book so much I couldn’t even finish it.   It is written in five parts and there is only the barest of threads that connects one part to another. 

The First Part About the Critics is about 4 scholars who have built their careers around the works of Benno von Archimboldi.  Following a lead they track him to a nowhere Mexican boarder town where they do nothing or very close to nothing.  Eventually the don’t find him, give up and go home.  This section of over 150 pages and I summed it up in 43 words.  I know other stuff happened but it really didn’t add anything.  By the time I reached the end of this part I was hoping they would all die in a firey plane crash.  At least that would have been exciting.

The Second Part About Amilfitano is about a professor who hangs a philosophy book on his clothes line.  His wife leaves him and their daughter to travel to Spain with a woman who may or may not have been her lesbian lover to break a crazy poet out of an aslyum, sleep with him, get pregnant to prove he isn’t gay.  Amilfitano worries that his daughter will be a victim of the killer who has been killing women in this town for several years. 

 This is the point I just gave up.  I just didn’t care how this book ended.  I put it down on my dining room table with plans to try and power through the third part over the July 4th weekend but I just couldn’t do it.  Life is too short to waste it reading books you don’t like.

Out of curiosity I went looking for some of the reviews for this book (you can read some of them here).  I have to wonder did we read the same book.  For fun read some of the comments to the 1 Star reviews on Amazon.com.  Apparently if you didn’t love this book and think it is the Greatest Book Ever Written you are obviously too stupid and should have your library card taken from you and burned.

I’m going to go hide now before the hoards of Roberto Bolano fans come and burn me at the stake.


One Response

  1. Ha! I just finished reading 2666. It really was a strange book. I get what you’re saying, but didn’t you at times feel like parts of it were kind of genius? Like the author is able to describe the horror/pain/boredom of existence?
    Anyways, cool blog!

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