Bolaño 2666 Read-A-Long – Week 3

The Bolaño 2666 Read-A-Long is a twelve week read of 2666 with people who can’t face reading the tome on their own. There are about 8 of us who are reading this together.

If you like to join in, get your copy of 2666 and join us any time. You can find the full reading schedule in THIS POST.

Reading for Week 3

This week, we read the following

Section II The Part About Amalfitano (1 week)

3. Pages 163-228 (65 pages) March 19th (the whole of Section II)

My summary (may contain spoilers)

This section, as the title suggests, is all about Amalfitano. If I remember well, neither the critics, nor Archimbaldi are mentioned at all in this piece.

It is set a little before the critics come and visit, as it tells us how Amalfitano decided to hang a book on the washing line. In the earlier section, the critics were amazed about a book hanging on the line at Amalfitano’s house.

We find out that Amalfitano is living with his daughter Rosa who is seventeen. His wife Lola had left them seven years ago.She claimed that she wanted to visit her favorite poet and left in the company of Immi, a friend of hers.

Every now and then Amalfitano hears from Lola, who is moving from one place to the next. At some point she apparently gave birth to a son, conceived with a lover in Paris.

Amalfitano moves from Spain to Mexico for a new job at a university but finds it really hard to get settled. University teacher Pérez takes pity on him and invites him out for a ride. Her son and his daughter come along too, but Amalfitano is distracted and not the best company.

Meanwhile, he’s started to write geometric shapes with in the corners the names of writers or philosophers. He seems to do this uncounsciously. Later on, he seems to lose the plot. He reads about Mexican history. Ok, let’s say that *I* lost the plot here!


I found this part a little boring. Amalfitano was not an inspiring and happy man and he made me feel depressed while reading about him.

I did think it was funny that the poet that Lola wanted to visit is living in a mental institution, just like the artist Edward Johns in the first part of the book. As I mentioned last week, I’m not really sure what the purpose is of John’s story in this book, but maybe there’s a pattern emerging?

The book that Amalfitano hangs on the washing line is most likely from Lola, but for some reason Amalfitano doesn’t seem to entertain that possibility. Is the book from the poet that Lola was visiting? I think that’s very probable.

Otherwise, we now know how Amalfitano ended up at the university in Mexico, and how he seems to descend into madness. However, in the first part of the book, I didn’t get the feeling that Amalfitano was a special character. I didn’t notice anything particular about him.

Discussion questions

What was your general opinion about this part? Did you find it boring, too?

What do you think about the book on the washing line, do you agree it’s from Lola’s poet?

Do you think he’s going mad?

What is so special about Amalfitano (in the first part)? Why did he need a full part of the book just for himself?

Next week (Week 4)

This week, we’ll read the following

Section III The Part About Fate (2 weeks)

4.  Pages 231-291 (60 pages, about half-way this section) March 26th

End at “Fate kept the appointment.”

What did you think of this week’s read?

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

10 Responses to Bolaño 2666 Read-A-Long – Week 3

  1. Cindy says:

    I haven’t a clue where this story is going, it’s all too psychedelic for me …

    • Leeswammes says:

      Well, Cindy, it is indeed a bit odd at the moment. I blame the main character of this part! Before that, it was quite OK. Wondering if the next part will be more interesting and “normal” again.

  2. Chinoiseries says:

    I have to agree with you, this part was boring and I totally lost track after a while. Whose voice is talking to him? Is it, like it claims, the spirit of his father or grandfather? I had hoped that Lola or her poet would somehow return to the story, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
    At this point of the book, I really can’t see what the importance of Amalfitano is.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Glad you agree with me, Chinoiseries, but it’s a pity we both lost track. That voice, I forgot to mention him, I think. Oops. I just didn’t know what to think of it.

  3. Nadine Nys says:

    I also wondered why Amalfitano was given a whole section in this book, but I guess everything will come together in the last part. I think it already starts getting clearer in part three about Fate. All in all, I think this a fascinating book, because I really want to know what will happen.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Indeed, Nadine. Why is Amalfitano having a whole section of his own? I’m not sure and I don’t actually liked him too much. We’ll see, we’ll see.

  4. JoV says:

    I’ll post my thoughts for week 4 here:

    I’ll post it again when you finally come up with your post this weekend.

    Thanks for hosting Judith!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Well done, JoV, you’re actually ahead now. Glad you’re getting through the book, but reading the first bit of your review it sounds like it wasn’t easy to read on the train. I’ll be reading the rest of your review when I’ve caught up.

  5. Pingback: Read-a-long week 3: Bolaño’s 2666

  6. Joanna says:

    Hi all, I’m so far behind but am still enjoying the readalong 🙂 I have posted on week 3 here:

    I too found it slower – because it has less plot – and more confusing. Not sure what it is meant to mean but I guess we’ll find out later.

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