Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2666 by Roberto Bolano

My god has it been a long time since I've posted anything. No excuses, really, other than laziness--but I'm coming back with something good.

Robert Bolano's 2666 is a 900 page novel that was published posthumously as a boxed set of three paperbacks (as well as another edition in one volume). Such a beautiful package--I love the brown paper slipcase, the red lettering, and the design of each of the individual books inside.

Each of the covers wraps around from left to right to create one large image.

As for the content of the book, it's actually divided into five parts, each one loosely connected to the next, from a group of critics in search of a reclusive German author, to an untold number of serial murders in Mexico, to the Eastern front of World War II, and back again. I love a good literary mystery, and while it didn't follow that storyline for the entire book, I nonetheless enjoyed it. I didn't read it all at once, taking breaks between some of the sections, so that by the time I got to the end of part four I'd nearly forgotten how it started, but it didn't bother me. It may be sprawling, and at times feels a little aimless, but by the end the many plotlines come together.

I wish all long books were published in parts, as a 300 page paperback is much easier to cart around on the subway than a 900 page one.