I quit! (2666)

9 Jun

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.

9 Responses to “I quit! (2666)”

  1. farmlanebooks at 2:26 pm #

    Sorry to hear that you didn’t make it to the end. It is really hard at some points. I don’t think I’d have ever made it to the end if I wasn’t reading it as part of a big group. I hope you find some better books to read soon :-)

  2. Riff Randell at 12:25 am #

    You gave it a shot. Now that my menu test at work has passed, I’m back on the Ondaatje bandwagon.

    He has a bandwagon?

    Anyquibble, I hope to finish The English Patient by the end of the week. Which means I expect to finish it by the end of the month. OMG new Roddy Doyle!

  3. Sasha at 11:19 am #

    You’re adorable, haha. A friend of mine lent me the book, he told me it was wonderful and all that, and I could keep it with me as long as it takes.

    I gave it back to him after two months, because it’d turned into a malevolent lump on my bookshelf.

    Re confusing names, I remember that while I was reading GGMarquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, I made a family tree, more comprehensible to me than the one the book came with. It helped a little. A little.

    • Lija at 7:20 pm #

      Oops, you ended up in the spam (don’t worry, many a fine blogging friend has ended up in there!).

      Confusing names make such a huge difference to readability. I seem to remember some classics that would have characters with the same first name. What the hell!?

  4. savidgereads at 11:51 am #

    Oh I am in a funny phase about a long book, The Lacuna actually, where I am reading it in parts in order to break it up. I was thinking of quitting and then it won the bloody Orange so now I am rather annoyed as I simply have to finish it now. I am hoping it wins me over.

    Life is too short for books you aren’t at least liking now and again, so don’t beat yourself up over it!

  5. Lija at 8:00 am #

    Thanks for the support, Jackie, Riff, and Simon! I felt like a big reading loser, but it had to be done. I feel lighter already (literally as well, obviously).

    Here’s to everyone’s reading hurdles! (and here’s to sometimes turning around and remembering that jumping hurdles made my high school BFF break her wrist.)

    • LisaG at 10:05 pm #

      Yeah, I don’t blame you for quitting. Why read to punish yourself?

  6. Tom C at 8:03 am #

    I wouldn’t beat yourself up about this one! Bolano is over-rated in my opinion and life is too short to waste it on books you’re not enjoying. I never feel under an obligation to complete a boring book!

    • Lija at 9:35 pm #

      Thanks Lisa and Tom. I was wondering why I hadn’t read many negative reviews of Bolano. Now I’m wondering if people who actually made it all the way through feel like they have to say it was worth it!

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