The idea of the “Unfinished Friday” meme is to inform readers about books you did not finish, and let them know why.
If you peruse any menu at a top-rated restaurant, you will see entres like stuffed leg of guinea hen with duck liver and oysters, quail eggs with crispy bone marrow, rabbit brain soup, cod cheeks, and basically, all kinds of stuff I HAVE NO DESIRE TO EAT.
Give me a good grilled cheese sandwich and vanilla shake, or maybe a 4-cheese pizza (a.k.a. open-faced grilled cheese sandwich) and diet coke with lemons or a glass of cabernet, and I’m happy.
So why did I pick up this equivalent of rabbit brain soup with duck liver?
Time Magazine called Bolaño’s 2666 “The Best Book of 2008” claiming it was “a masterpiece, the electrifying literary event of the year.” The 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction was posthumously awarded to Roberto Bolaño for 2666. It was short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. Powell’s recommends it as “The finest novel of our young century … an epic masterpiece that solidifies Bolaño’s reputation as a literary genius. It’s an entire world unto itself, one — not unlike our own — filled with horror, neglect, depravity, brilliance, and beauty.”
Well, I tried. It’s 898 pages, divided into five parts. As Time Magazine points out about Bolaño:
“He’s addicted to unsolved mysteries and seemingly extraneous details that actually do turn out to be extraneous, and he loves trotting out characters — indelible thumbnail sketches — whom we will never encounter a second time. If three people spend the night at a hotel, you can count on Bolaño to stop the story cold for 10 pages while he describes each of their dreams.”
Others may call all that brilliant, I call it annoying. I made it through Part I only. Bring on the grilled cheese.