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I loved 2666 and didn't want it to end, so naturally I chose this book, recently published posthumously. Some of the characters had the same names as those in 2666, The works of fictional author Archimbaldi showed up--in fact there is a list of his complete works. What's wrong with this, I asked myself? Why am I falling asleep? Why don't I care about these people? This novel lacks the sparkle and polish of Bolano's other works. It lacks humor. I often felt like these were scenes he had tried out for 2666 and then discarded in favor of more interesting ones. t was interested, and I finished it, mainly as a window into Bolano's process and style.
That said, there is a beautiful and touching series of letters near the end of the novel that were worth staying for.
I could not sort out if the narration was a problem or not. It was easy enough to follow.
If you haven't read Roberto Bolano yet, try the Savage Detectives or 2666.
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This elucidates so much of what is often unsaid in the narratives of 2666 and Savage Detectives. As its own piece, a rumination, we see into Bolaño's mind and it is glorious to see, as if happening contemporaneously with our reading this book is Bolaño's persistent formulation of these characters and themes.