Bolaño’s ‘2666’ a Bestseller OR … Be Less Insular, Part Trois

After much review attention, 2666 by Chilean author Roberto Bolaño, has landed on the extended 11/30 NYT Fiction list at #25 as well as at #28 on the extended Trade Paperback list (it came out simulataneously in hardcover and as a 3-vol. boxed trade paperback). It also appears on the following lists this week:

  • ABA Indie Bestsellers, Fiction, #11
  • Boston Globe Fiction, #7
  • SF Chronicle Fiction, #10
  • Northern California Independent Booksellers Assoc., Fiction, #5

Library ordering was light and reserve to copy ratios are heavy in several areas.

Below are some of the reviews, but as the SF Chronicle puts it, 

Echoing the resignation of colleagues who tried and failed to sum up the book, the Argentine novelist Rodrigo Fresán wrote: “It doesn’t make much sense to read about 2666; one must read 2666.

I’ve failed on both counts, having read a great deal about 2666, but not a word of the book itself. I recommend Malcolm Jones’s review in Newsweek, who admits the book is not for the faint hearted, but urges readers to tackle it, to “see a novelist aim for the moon, even if he falls on his face.”

If you want to violate the dictum to not read about 2666 in a really big way,  try Francisco Goldman’s piece on Bolaño’s work in the New York Review.


NYT Book Review

NYT Daily

Los Angeles Times

SF Chronicle


New Yorker

New York Review of Books

Washington Post Book World

2666 is owned in small quantities in libraries, with heavy reserves to copy ratios in many areas.


by Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer (Translator)
  • Hardcover: $30; 912 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (November 11, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0374100144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374100148
  • Paperback: $30; 912 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (November 11, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0374531552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374531553

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