The Millions

Reading Roberto Bolaño’s Final Wake-Up Call

Before we get too far, I have to be candid: Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 is a book from which one must recover. I’m serious. No book since Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian has left me in such a state of utter, cosmic helplessness. So, if you’re here because you’re trying to decide whether or not to read Bolaño’s 900-page opus, I can only say this: it must be read, but no shame to any person who cannot.

And don’t, I would add, read it when you’re sick. I canis taxing on the best of days, to say nothing of when you’re all body aches and fever.

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