Eff this. If I’m being honest with myself, part of me always knew that I wouldn’t really finish 2666, but perversely, that made me want to force myself to do it all the more.
The signs were not good, right from the start. I complained vigorously about Part 1 and 2 back in February. I also took to Twitter to bitch about it on a regular basis. Mercifully, Farmlanebooks Jackie left me a comment suggesting that I break the book up into the five parts and read it like that, since that’s how Bolano himself originally planned for it to be published. I pounced on this suggestion, thinking that I would at least be able to read some fun stuff in between sections (“fun stuff” like The Road. Believe me, anything was fun by comparison). Of course, one book led to five and by then, I’d tasted sweet reading freedom and I wasn’t about to put myself back in that 900 page jail.
Other clues that 2666 was never going to work out for me? I skipped section three because I wanted get to the grisly “Part About The Crimes,” if only to see if he really did use the phrase “vaginally and anally raped” as often as I’d heard. Not really. And then I quit.
My own laziness is certainly to blame for this failure, especially since one of my main complaints is that I had trouble keeping track of so many indistinguishable (to me) character names. As I mentioned in my original complaining post (which I now see was just a set up for my eventual quitting post), I could see that the symbolism was there, but that wasn’t enough to keep dragging myself along. Or dragging the book along and compromising my perfect posture.