Bolaño 2666 Read-A-Long – Week 10

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 10

This week, we read the following

Section V The Part About Archimboldi (3 weeks)

10. Pages 637-723 (86 pages) May 7th

Read until: “In any case, storm clouds hovered over Ivanov, though he never even dreamed they were there…

My summary (may contain spoilers)

Hurray, no more dead bodies! If I counted correctly, there were zero people killed in this part. That made a difference.

What also made a difference, was the story. This could be a completely different book. Don’t be fooled by the title of this section: The Part About Archimboldi. There is no Archimboldi… yet, at least.

This is the story of Hans Reiter, a german who was born in 1920. At school he isn’t much good, so at 14 he has a few jobs. Eventually, he starts working for the local baron and meets the baron’s nephew, who steals expensive goods from the baron’s house (as he is never there himself). The nephew is called Hugo Halder and he works in Berlin. When Hans follows him to Berlin, he finds Hans a job.

Later Hans is drafted into the army, and he spends some time in Romania, and later, in Ukraine. In an abandoned house where he lives for a while, he finds some hidden papers. These are from Boris Ansky.

We then get the story of Boris Ansky. He was born in 1909 and joined the Red Army in 1923. After he leaves the army, he travels and visits museums, and reads a lot. He meets Efraim Ivanov who is an science fiction writer.

We learn a bit more about Ansky and Ivanov… but is it relevant?

Discussion

The story is about Germans, and Archimboldi is a German, but other than that, I have no idea where this is going. It was a good story, as such. More interesting than the previous part about the dead women. It could be a book on its own. But then… just as I’m happily reading about Hans Reiter, we get a new story: Boris Ansky. Why?

This is what I don’t like: there is so much irrelevant material here. I’ve learned that in a good book, every sentence, every word even, is relevant to the story. But Bolaño seems to include all kinds of information that cannot possibly all be relevant to… what, really? The murders? Archimboldi?

Discussion questions

What is the book about, really?

What did you think about Hans Reiter’s story?

Next week (Week 11)

This week, we’ll read the following

Section V The Part About Archimboldi (3 weeks)

11. Pages 724-810 (86 pages) May 14th

Read until: “In all, he spent three weeks in Hamburg.Twice he dined with Mr. Bubis.


What did you think of this week’s read?

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

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

  1. parrish says:

    This was a great book, partly in relief because had finished previous part & partly because It’s a great bit of storytelling. How it relates is an interesting question, how relevant you’ll find out.
    Reading this back & I realise how smug it sounds, It’s not meant to be remembering ny relationship with this book, that I love, but it was a hard won love.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Parrish, you’re right, this part of the book is very good story telling. I really wonder what will happen in the last few parts of the book. I can’t imagine it will all come together.

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