So I have been reading a lot of good books recently, and I gave all of them a three-four star rating. This had me thinking : maybe I had gotten used to reading good books, maybe I should be more lenient and go give some of them a five star rating. This book, however, reaffirmed the existence of the notorious 'five star' experience.
Roberto Bolaño was a peculiar character. For the most part of his life, he was a vagabond, he got involved in revolutions in his home country Chili (he opposed against Allende and the omnipresence of the poet Octavio Paz) and is said to have had a heroin addiction that lasted over several years. Nonetheless, he still found the time to write. A lot. [b:2666|63032|2666|Roberto Bolaño|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328038189s/63032.jpg|3294830], which was published after he died and was never actually finished, is the book that most people remember, mostly because of it's incredibly high amount of pages.
The core of this book tells an Oddysee-like story about the poets Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima (what's in a name, right?). They have revived a group called the Visceral Realists, a group once founded by a mysterious poetess called Cesarea Tinajero. To say that this story is responsible for the core of the experience would nevertheless be a mistake. The book consists of a lot of smaller stories, told by a myriad of narrators. I have my own theories about what the book as a whole is supposed to mean, but then again, those are just ideas.
In the end, it is hard to say why this book spoke to me the way it did. Belano and Lima (and so many others) spend their time doing the most bewildering things, going from one country to the other, pursuing a quest that seems so incredibly hopeless and melancholic you'll either want to give them both a hug or punch them in the face and tell them to snap out of it. It's true Bolaño could have made the book so much shorter, there are pages and pages of references, but I forgive the man, for he has delivered a truly magnificent piece of writing. If not a classic already, it soon will be.