Magazine article New Internationalist

2666

Magazine article New Internationalist

2666

Article excerpt

2666 by Roberto Bolanca (Picador, ISBN 9789 330 50960 2) It takes a singular talent to make a book of 1,000 pages that is as hard to put down as it is to pick up. Despite its size, 2660 retains the agility of a thriller.

A giant reclusive German novelist, Benno von Archimboldi, is being traced by a group of European academics who share a reverence for his novels, their own status and each others' beds. All we are told about the novels is that 'the way the stories followed one after another didn't lead anywhere... all that was really left was nature, a nature that dissolved little by little in a boiling cauldron until it vanished completely'.

At the centre of the story is a city in a desert: Santa Teresa (a stand-in for Ciudad Juárez) on the Mexican border with the United States. This is, indeed, a cauldron of violence - of the sex-trade 'n drug-wars 'n export-processing zones. Hundreds of women, most of them workers in the maquiladora factories, are being raped and murdered, their mutilated bodies strewn around the city with the trash. …

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