Friday, January 23, 2009

Library Loot: Week 2, January 21

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Alessandra that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

Leftover Loot: Internal Devices by Philip Reeve (#3 in the Hungry City Chronicles); A Darkling Plain (#4 in the Hungry City Chronicles); Beneath by Mother's Feet by Amjed Qamar; Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

For those that may have been tracking my progress in Dune, I've returned the library's copy because I picked up a cheap paperback copy used :)

New Loot: 2666 by Roberto Bolano.

As to why I picked up 2666...I haven't heard a thing about the book or the author. But a few weeks ago, I picked this one up off the shelf. I ended up not checking it out then. (It was the trip with all the Dune books.) But when I saw it today, I decided to take a chance. Rather or not the praising words within the book are valid or not, I was intrigued by a book that promised that it was "not just the great Spanish language novel of this decade, but one of the cornerstones that define an entire literature." I'm sure I'll either love it or hate it. I may abandon it. But here it is the sole object of this week's loot.

From Amazon who borrowed it from PW:

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Last year's The Savage Detectives by the late Chilean-Mexican novelist Bolaño (1953–2003) garnered extraordinary sales and critical plaudits for a complex novel in translation, and quickly became the object of a literary cult. This brilliant behemoth is grander in scope, ambition and sheer page count, and translator Wimmer has again done a masterful job. The novel is divided into five parts (Bolaño originally imagined it being published as five books) and begins with the adventures and love affairs of a small group of scholars dedicated to the work of Benno von Archimboldi, a reclusive German novelist. They trace the writer to the Mexican border town of Santa Teresa (read: Juarez), but there the trail runs dry, and it isn't until the final section that readers learn about Benno and why he went to Santa Teresa. The heart of the novel comes in the three middle parts: in The Part About Amalfitano, a professor from Spain moves to Santa Teresa with his beautiful daughter, Rosa, and begins to hear voices. The Part About Fate, the novel's weakest section, concerns Quincy Fate Williams, a black American reporter who is sent to Santa Teresa to cover a prizefight and ends up rescuing Rosa from her gun-toting ex-boyfriend. The Part About the Crimes, the longest and most haunting section, operates on a number of levels: it is a tormented catalogue of women murdered and raped in Santa Teresa; a panorama of the power system that is either covering up for the real criminals with its implausible story that the crimes were all connected to a German national, or too incompetent to find them (or maybe both); and it is a collection of the stories of journalists, cops, murderers, vengeful husbands, prisoners and tourists, among others, presided over by an old woman seer. It is safe to predict that no novel this year will have as powerful an effect on the reader as this one. (Nov.)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Lezlie said...

I've got this one on my radar, but the size keeps me from picking it up right away. I can't wait to see your thoughts!


samantha.1020 said...

Interesting. I'll be interested to see what you think of this book. Enjoy your reading :)

Livia said...

2666 is a brilliant novel - I'm currently reading the Part About Crimes and I love it, it makes me want to read every other book Bolano wrote. 1000+ pages, ok, but it's worth it. I hope you'll like it too :)

Kailana said...

I will be interested to hear what you think of this book! It sounds interesting!

Alessandra said...

I too will be interested to hear what you think of 2666!

Eva said...

I hope you enjoy it!