Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

2666 Update

I’m finished with 4 of the 5 parts of 2666. A large part of the book was centered around the Mexican town of Santa Teresa, where a large number of women were killed over the span of four (I think) years. Part 4 is called “The Part About The Crimes” and gives a description of the discovery of each one of the bodies of women found in that timeframe. Woven into the descriptions are some of the stories of a kid who works his way up from drug-lord bodyguard to cop; a detective who falls in love with the director of an insane asylum; an American of German descent who becomes a naturalized Mexican and is accused of one, then all, then none of the murders; and a reporter who becomes interested in the cases and eventually finds the lead that shows us the truth behind them.

That’s the interesting part: at the end of this (very long) section, we are actually given some insight into the cause of the crimes, although none of the characters actually has his story conclude. From what I’ve read about the book, I expected it to be much more open-ended.

It would be a bit of a stretch to say I’m enjoying the book. But I am admiring it, and appreciating it, and definitely enjoying parts of it. The writing is quite good, even in translation, the characters interesting and the world engaging. I’m not sure I needed to read a hundred or so descriptions of murdered women, but then, Bolano doesn’t seem particularly concerned with the conventions of what you should and should not include in a narrative.

And now, on to part 5. Only 250 of 900 pages left to go. I need another plane trip.

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