Let’s Do This 2666 Thing!

25Jan10

So, Sarah managed to convince me to join in the Roberto Bolaño 2666 readalong. I was a little sceptical at first, having just finished Cloud Atlas, and wanting to do some lighter reading. However, the temptation of reading 2666 along with a bunch of other people was too strong to resist. Plus, the readalong seems to be relatively easy – just fifty pages a week. Essentially, bedtime reading every Sunday!

So, I’ve read the first fifty pages (fifty one, if you want to be pedantic), and I’m cruising along. The writing is beautiful, but surprisingly easy to get on with, and the characters already seem interesting. Four scholars, from different countries, with one common interest: an author called Archimboldi. The author is a mysterious persona; no one knows his whereabouts – it’s like he’s vanished from the face of the earth.

It’s just fifty pages. Even the stage hasn’t been set yet. However, the chemistry between the characters is evident, and, a love triangle of sorts has already emerged. All the characters are fascinating in their own right, and I do feel like rushing ahead to the next fifty pages. The only slight concern I have at this stage is the minute details, which seem unnecessary. I might be proven wrong, and those details might amount to something as the book progresses. For now, I’m keeping an open mind.

In terms of “reviewing”, I’m going to try keeping it simple. Provide a quick weekly update, much like this post, and do a regular longer review on each chunk of the book, which is divided into five parts. Just as an fyi, the first chunk is called The Part About The Critics.

I am already looking forward to reading the next chunk, but, I shall refrain and follow the schedule.

To give you a kind of idea as to what to expect, I’m going to quote my favourite part of these fifty-one pages. On reading it, do let me know how you can not be completely mesmerised by the writing?

And speaking of the Greeks, it would be fair to say that Espinoza and Pelletier believed themselves to be (and in their perverse way, were) incarnations of Ulysses, and that both thought of Morini as Eurylochus, the loyal friend about whom two very different stories are told in the Odyssey. The first, in which he escapes being turned into a pig, suggests shrewdness or a solitary and individualistic nature, careful skepticism, the craftiness of an old seaman.

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19 Responses to “Let’s Do This 2666 Thing!”

  1. Hooray!

    Nice post. It really isn’t easy commenting on the first fifty pages of a book. Great quote, too. I must admit I wasn’t engaging with the book initially, but then, suddenly, it was page fifty-one. I have to stop?! :(

  2. Oh gosh, I was happy being intimidated by this book…then I could let it sit happily in my TBR, never really moving up the pile. Now I’m afraid that making this book sound accessible is all I needed to develop a serious case of book lust- DAMN IT!

  3. Have fun! I had a blast reading along with others for this. I agree the writing is mindblowing, but everything else about it is, too!

  4. 9 lena

    I wish I had the time to join in this challenge with you all ):

  5. I hope that you have fun! Maybe doing the challenge will help keep or get me motivated to read this – I tried to get into it but just couldn’t the first time around. :(

  6. Oh, I’m tempted to join you… :s

  7. 15 farmlanebooks

    Congratulations on starting it! I’ll be interested to see how your thoughts change throughout the book. Good luck!

  8. This was my favorite book from last year by far! What a grand and wondrous adventure awaits you!!

  9. Awww, if I had known earlier I also would have joined :( I’ve been wanting to buy and read this book but I just feel intimidated by it’s HUGE size all the time. And that cover is also the one I’m planning to get.

    I’ll just wait for your thoughts then… and anyway we’ll still be reading Pride and Prejudice together :)


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