Bolaño 2666 Read-A-Long – Week 12, FINAL Week!

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.

You can find the full reading schedule in THIS POST.

Reading for Week 12

This week, we read the following

Section V The Part About Archimboldi (3 weeks)

12. Pages 810-END (84 pages) May 21st

My summary (contains spoilers)

Ingeborg and Archimboldi are staying in a village, where the owner of the house they are staying in is reputed to have killed his wife. One night Ingeborg leaves the house while it’s cold and after Archimboldi finds her back, she becomes very ill. In hospital the house owner admits to having killed his wife.

Some of the story is about Archimboldi’s relationship with Bubis, the publisher, who seems happy to publish anything Archimboldi sends him. Of course, as soon as he gets the chance, he’s in bed with Mrs. Bubis, the baroness. Ingeborg dies eventually. She’d been ill with tuberculosis a long time.

Later on, we get to know Lotte, Archimboldi’s sister. She stayed in Germany and moved to the West of the country at the end of the Second World War. She married Werner Haas, and has a child with him, Klaus Haas. Then we finally realise the relation between Archimboldi and Santa Teresa: the prisoner Klaus Haas is his nephew.

Lotte hasn’t heard from her son for a long time, and when she is already a widow, she hears that he is in prison in Mexico. She hires a translator and together they travel to her son. His court case is being delayed time and again and there is little hope that he will be out of prison soon.

By coincidence, she reads a book by Archimboldi that describes her own childhood very well, and she realises the writer must be her own brother, Hans Reiter. Via the publishers she contacts him. By the time he visits her, she is old and worries who will take care of her son in prison. Archimboldi agrees to do this for her and prepares to go to Mexico.


This fifth section is a proper story, in the sense that it is about the life of one German man, Hans Reiter, a.k.a. Archimboldi and it all makes sense. It’s a normal story. There is no endless summing up of murders, there are no strange characters that hang books on their washing line. Instead, it’s a straightforward story, just how I like them.

If this had been the only part of the book I’d read (weeks 10-12), I would have said, yeah, 2666 is OK. Except of course, there would be too much of the storyline lacking, as we wouldn’t know the story about the dead women and how Klaus Haas was put in prison, etc.

Bubis publishes anything Archimboldi sends him: isn’t that what all writers would like. It seems like wishful thinking, a bit of dreaming from Bolaño’s point of view. A bit of fun for the writer himself?

We never hear about the critics again, as far as I know.

General Discussion

I know there are people out there who loved this book. I’m not sure why, they must see something in this book that I didn’t. Or they don’t mind all the dead ends that we got: the book could have been many pages thinner, if all the irrelevant material (most of the book) was left out.

I’ve recently learned that a really good book has not a sentence too many. Everything in the book is somehow relevant to the plot. I don’t think that is the case with this book, but again, maybe I’m just not seeing everything there is to see about this book.

I think my main questions while reading the final part of the book were to find out:

a. Will the critics ever discover who and where Archimboldi is?

b. Why were so many women in Santa Teresa killed?

I don’t think I’ve found the answer to these questions. We did find out who Archimboldi was, but the critics didn’t – or will they find him in Santa Teresa eventually? Also, I still don’t know why all those murders took place. If Klaus Haas killed four of the women (and that is still uncertain), then there are many murders unaccounted for. I had hoped to find some organised force (whether physical or spiritual) that was responsible for the murders.

As I think I’ve mentioned in earlier posts: I would never have finished this book if it wasn’t for the read-a-long. I liked the last part but I still feel like I’ve lost a lot of reading time on the earlier parts when I could have been reading something else. I don’t feel accomplished or proud for having read this tome. I feel… relieved to have finished finally. What about you?

What did you think of this book?

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12 Responses to Bolaño 2666 Read-A-Long – Week 12, FINAL Week!

  1. Cindy says:

    Whew, I’m glad it’s over.

  2. parrish says:

    As you know I’m a member of the yeh Love this book society, although will happily admit to not understanding it all . As for the question why were the women murdered. this was based on actual events & they’ve never found a satisfactory reason why women were murdered, why are people just killed. whether this is Bolano making a generalization using this as a reference to countless murders in his homeland is just supposition but it is a recurring motif in his work. As for the whether the critics will discover who the writer is ,again merely guess work but it could refer to the cult of personality , wanting to know every aspect of a writers life again applicable to Bolano with all the myths & tales built in & around him that whole mythos of the poet/writer.Finally (honest) I believe a book doesn’t need to answer your questions, in fact this book & I feel this is the case with a lot of Bolano’s work – it poses questions, whether It’s down to you to answer them, or they’re questions humanity has no answer for, i.e the murders, but we still need to constantly ask, this is highly applicable to a lot of regimes being mentioned in the press now. Sorry for the long waffle & have thoroughly enjoyed your posts during this readathon, even if my role was that of some cryptic ghost following the proceedings
    Thanks Parrish.
    ps, if you’ve not done so, you can check my post now you’ve finished

    • Leeswammes says:

      Parrish, thanks for your long comment. It’s not waffle at all, I think after your comment I’m much happier to accept the book for what it is. I didn’t know the murders had actually happened

      I just wanted more clarification on several things rather than leaving them in the open. And I was so annoyed by each part introducing new people and events and they never satisfactorily combined with earlier people or events. Until the final part – and I liked that the best.

  3. I felt relieved to reach the end too! I ended up loving this book, but I did feel a lot of your frustration while reading it. I think I missed a lot and was made aware of its brilliance by several wonderful posts written by those who are better at spotting those kind of things. I recommmend reading through the posts written by them:

    (I’ve linked to their last posts, but you should be able to find their other ones from there)

    I also agree with parrish about the way Bolano asks the questions and leaves you to think about the answers. Having that discussion in your head (or even better with other readers) is what makes this book so good.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks Jackie, that’s very useful. I will have a look at these links.

      I think indeed, discussing this book with other readers is very helpful. On my own I would have felt totally lost.

  4. JoV says:

    Judith, so sorry I can’t keep up. It was 2666 (esp the murdering part) that sent me off to a reading slump and I ended up reading a few more interesting books on the side. I hope I can catch up within a week, but I doubt if I can. 😦 Best of luck. Thanks for hosting this. 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Jo, no apologies needed! I can understand that you’ve been distracted by more interesting books. It’s just that I was hosting this… otherwise I’d been the same, I’m sure.

      I hope you do finish the book, as the ending is, well, interesting. Especially now you’ve made it so far, it would probably be nice to actually finish the whole thing. Good luck!

  5. Nadine Nys says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t really enjoy 2666! But you may feel proud that you did finish it. As you know I did like it and promised myself I will read it again in due time, because I think I will discover things I missed the first time.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Well, that’s true, Nadine. I think next time I will notice different things in the book which makes it more interesting. Unfortunately, the way I feel about it now, there won’t be a next time.

  6. Nadine Nys says:

    I can understand that you don’t feel like reading this book again… There are so much other books waiting for you!

  7. Pingback: 2666… Phew finally! « Bibliojunkie

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