Monday, November 10, 2008

Bolaño Mania Continues

The reviews for Bolaño's 2666 keep rolling in, and they're ridiculously positive. I'm particularly interested in what's being said over at Literary Saloon, where they "never found [them]selves completely in the thrall of Bolaño-mania" after reading The Savage Detectives and Nazi Literature in the Americas. As a result, their "expectations for 2666 really weren't all that high." The conclusion: "[W]e are in awe. We have 2165 books under review here at the complete review, and [2666] easily joins the ranks of the best; certainly it is the most impressive contemporary novel we've read in many, many years."

Scott Esposito at Conversational Reading has some complaints about the lack of depth we're seeing in the critical coverage of 2666:
Perhaps Lethem and Kirsch do really think 2666 is the single greatest thing to happen to the English language in decades, but the very least we, the reading public, deserve is a more coherent explanation of why than we're getting. Anything less is simply not serving the function that a critic for a publication like the NYTBR should serve.

I have to agree with Scott on this, though I sympathize with the reviewers. It's not easy to review a sprawling 900-page novel in 1500 words.

The book is being released in two formats. There's a 912-page hardcoverand a 3-volume paperback set.

1 comment:

Anna van Gelderen said...

Well, I am no position to add my opinion, since I have not even been able to bring myself to read The Savage Detectives yet, but this seems very much like a hype. Did you read The Savage Detectives, Gwen?
Ah, just checked it out: you did, you reviewed it before I discovered this blog and you have confirmed all my prejudices against the book: not my kind of book and it's going off my wishlist NOW!