BolaÃ±o cites this quotation from Goethe (also given in German) towards the end of this early but posthumously discovered novel. It is as good a key as any to what the book may be about. The protagonist, Udo Berger, a German in his mid-twenties, is literally a guest — in a hotel. He is taking a late summer vacation with his girlfriend Ingeborg in a beach hotel on the Costa Brava where he used to come with his family as a child. Together with another German couple, Hanna and Charly, they engage in the usual occupations: swimming, sunbathing, eating, drinking (a lot), and making love. But shadows hang over this idyll.
I was coming to Maine for the summer and wanted to get lost in a big thick weighty book, a book that would be wasted in the city where it would be not so much attacked as toyed with. How can you read a 900 page book but to attack it? You canâ€™t nibble at it. You have to take blocks of time and sit down in a quiet place and rest the tome on your lap and go after it, like a loon after a harbor sardine. I had wanted to read 2666 since it came out in English last year (from the Spanish), published posthumously a year after BolaÃ±oâ€™s death. Now was the time.
July 3, 2009
Â· Judi Clark Â· 2 Comments
Tags: 700+ Pages, FSG, Latin American, Murder Mystery, Roberto Bolano Â· Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Latin American/Caribbean, Literary, Mexico, Mystery/Suspense, Translated, World Lit