Bolaño Reviewed in the TLS

The TLS has a good review of 2666. The review isn’t as fawning as some and tries to locate the source of Bolañomania. Like a previous El País article, the review finds similarities between Bolaño and the American literary tradition.

The author’s exuberant, informal voice echoed that of several American classics; while he cited Huckleberry Finn as an inspiration, the book clearly bore the imprint of On the Road and The Catcher in the Rye. In addition, many of his themes resonated with the puritan and romantic impulses of the American literary tradition. Bolaño’s world is open to self-invention and redemption, but also pervaded by ineradicable evil. It is bracingly egalitarian in its range of cultural references: The Savage Detectives borrows from the science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon as well as from Mark Twain; 2666 references both Herman Melville and David Lynch; figures in his poems include Anacreon, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Sam Peckinpah and Godzilla. Readers of all tastes could thus feel at ease with this disquieting writer, and many sought his other translated works.

If you are still on the fence about 2666, the review is worth a read.

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