Monday, April 20, 2009

Reading: 2666.

For months I had been reading about Roberto Bolano's 2666 but all the hype just kind of put me off and I simply refused to buy it. Then right before we left for Germany, our friend Ashley gave it to Kyle and me as a congrats-on-the-job-i-like-being-your-friend-going-away present. It was super nice of him, of course, but also, not a surprise because it seems that my reading list and Ashley's reading list have some kind of a telepathic connection established and we are constantly reading or meaning to read the exact same titles. Last night I finally started the book and I find it so ridiculously enjoyable that I actually ended up taking a 1-hour "bathroom break" in the middle of the night to read a few more pages.

The reason I am telling you all this is to save you from yourselves if you are also avoiding the book on account of it being Too Cool.

Just. Read. It.


  1. Thanks for this, Petya. I WAS, in fact, avoiding the book for just that reason.

    Don't know if I told you that I finally finished Diaz's The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao... but I did, and it was great. I recently picked up 3 different novels that I have begun to read simultaneously-- Ambrose's The Man Who Turned Into Himself, DeLillo's Falling Man, and Price's Lush Life. Obviously, I can't continue to read them all simultaneously, so I figured I would just go forward with all three until one of them emerged as a the leader of the pack...

    Unfortunately, this hasn't happened yet. They're all three pretty good. So, if you've read any of them and can give me a nudge in the right direction, I'd be very much appreciative!

  2. hmm, having a similar problem with 2666. in my case, though, i think it's exacerbated by the fact that i just hated the last third or so of the savage detectives. did you read that one? if so, how did you feel about it? (i need someone i trust to read both and tell me what to do!)

  3. Dr. J:
    THANKS so much for the book recommendations. Actually, Oscar Wao is that same way for me. Everyone, everyone, everyone keeps telling me it's awesome. Nobody said why, your blog entry was the first actual opinion (by a friend) that I read. It is on my reading list now.

    Kyle reads 20 books at a time, never uses bookmarks and can formulate smart opinions about them in a second. I am not like that AT ALL. I am very easily distracted... many things catch my interest, so I force myself to read only one book at a time. That way I make sure it gets finished. So, my advice would be to pick the book you started reading first, binge on it and move on to the one you started reading second, etc.

    I am not sure I can help you out, I wish I could. This is the first Bolano book that I am reading and I am still reading the first part.... But what I have read, I have loved. In fact, I think all my friends who are academics would really enjoy it (or be upset by it, I can't decide).

    I am a novice at fiction reading... (maybe I should write an entry about that)... so when I am in doubt, I refer to my favorite literary blogger: She is FANTASTIC and I trust her judgement... She spoke to a writer who was apparently friends with Bolano and said that she thought The Savage Detectives was "juvenilia" in comparison to 2666. Soooo....

  4. Oddly enough, my future brother-in-law just said roughly the same thing...

  5. That The Savage Detectives is juvenile in comparison to 2666?

  6. well, petya and ideas man, if two people you trust have said the books are different, then i think i should give 2666 a try. (that's 2 more comparisons than i'd heard before.)