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2666: A Novel Audiobook, by Roberto Bolaño Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Roberto Bolaño Narrator: various narrators, John Lee, Armando Durán, G. Valmont Thomas, Scott Brick, Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781504606141
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Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño’s life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his most brilliant achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strange beauty, daring experimentation, and epic scope. The book’s subject matter ranges from the heady heights of literature and love to the gritty realism of violence and death as it explores how humans make sense of senseless events. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, writers and cops, pursuing their own separate yet interrelated quests for meaning: an enigmatic Prussian novelist who disappears from the public eye after the death of his lover; a group of literary critics who bond through their shared love of the novelist’s works; an African American journalist sent to Mexico on a sports beat in the wake of his mother’s death; and a Spanish professor and widowed father whose mind is beginning to lose its grip on reality. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of Santa Teresa, a fictional Juárez on the US-Mexico border, where the serial killings of hundreds of young working class women remain unsolved.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The year’s most exciting novel…It is also a masterpiece, and its publication in English translation…is the most electrifying literary event of the year…A display of novelistic mastery, and as devastating a reading experience as you are likely ever to encounter…The relentless gratuitousness of 2666 has its own logic and its own power, which builds into something overwhelming that hits you all the harder because you don’t see it coming.”


  • “Think of David Lynch, Marcel Duchamp (both explicitly invoked here) and the Bob Dylan of ‘Highway 61 Revisited,’ all at the peak of their lucid yet hallucinatory powers.”

    New York Times

  • “Bolano’s masterwork…An often shockingly raunchy and violent tour de force (though the phrase seems hardly adequate to describe the novel’s narrative velocity, polyphonic range, inventiveness, and bravery).”

    New York Review of Books

  • “The Gabriel García Márquez of our time: politically engaged, formally daring and wildly imaginative…[2666] should cement his reputation as a world-class novelist…[Bolaño] exults in his indefatigable storytelling skills and his mastery of an arsenal of styles…In this he is expertly partnered by Natasha Wimmer, whose translation is fluid and faithful…With 2666, Bolaño joins the ambitious overachievers of the 20th-century novel, those like Proust, Musil, Joyce, Gaddis, Pynchon, Fuentes, and Vollmann, who push the novel far past its conventional size and scope to encompass an entire era, deploying encyclopedic knowledge and stylistic verve to offer a grand, if sometimes idiosyncratic summation of their culture and the novelist’s place in it. Bolaño has joined the immortals.”

    Washington Post

  • “Bolaño has particularly captured the imaginations of younger readers because his work is rather like a video game or a set of nested webpages, stories within stories with many apparent authors, and little sense of predetermined purpose…Every scene is powerful and realistic; yet the overall effect is hallucinatory and dreamlike. What he captures so artfully is how a world headed toward chaos, exploitation, and violence can still be home to souls guided by gentleness and truth. The book is long and intense, but it is also the work of an extraordinary artist facing certain ultimate realities, and so will repay every moment of attention you can give it.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “One of those strange, exquisite, and astonishing experiences that literature offers us only once in a very long time…a writer in full pursuit of the Total Novel, one that not only completes his life’s work but redefines it and raises it to new dizzying heights.”

     El País

  • “The book explores evil with irony, without any theory or resolution, relying on storytelling alone as its saving grace…Each story is an adventure: a fresco at once horrifying, delicate, grotesque, redundant, and absurd, revealed by the flashlight of a child who stands at the threshold of a cave he will never leave.”


  • “On every page the reader marvels, hypnotized, at the capacity of this baroque writer to encompass all literary genres in a single fascinating, enigmatic story…It is a fully realized work by a pure genius at the height of his powers.”


  • “[A] work of huge importance…a complex literary experience, in which the author seeks to set down his nightmares while he feels time running out.”

    El Mundo

  • “This brilliant behemoth is grander [than The Savage Detectives] in scope, ambition and sheer page count, and translator Wimmer has again done a masterful job…It is safe to predict that no novel this year will have as powerful an effect on the reader as this one.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Roberto Bolaño’s surrealist magnum opus, set in Europe and South America, is divided into five books, each read here by a different narrator, each in his way extraordinary. John Lee is especially subtle with accents, Armando Durán brings his mostly Spanish-flavored section to vivid life, G. Valmont Thomas lends ‘The Part about Fate’ a deadpan humor, and Grover Gardner gives the saga of the writer Benno von Archimboldi a compelling pace. [Scott Brick’s] characters’ voices are outstanding.”


  • “Bolaño’s true masterpiece…showing Bolaño’s mesmerizing ability to spin out tale after tale that balance on the edge between happy-go-lucky hilarity and creeping dread…he writes with a horror that is both haunting and deeply humane.” Review, Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008

  • “To say that 2666 is a novel is like calling a Beethoven symphony a collection of songs. If we must, though, this novel in five parts is without doubt Roberto Bolaño’s masterwork, epic in scope, labyrinthine, frustrating, disjointed, maybe a bit pretentious, always somewhat aloof—and brilliant…Reading 2666 is a daunting task, though once accepted, the result might be something akin to what readers felt in 1922 when, faced for the first time with the disquieting modern vision of James Joyce, they picked up Ulysses and were changed by the experience.”


  • “Should cement his reputation as a world-class novelist…Bolaño has joined the immortals.”

    Washington Post

  • Winner of the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
  • An Oprah Irresistible Read
  • A 2008 Los Angeles Times Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2008 New York Magazine Top 10 Books for Fiction
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • Selected for the December 2008 Indie Next List
  • A 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2008 Seattle Times Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2008 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A 2008 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Fiction
  • One of the 2008 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick for Best Genre-Bending Books

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About the Author

Roberto Bolaño (1953–2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, France, and Spain. He has been acclaimed by the Los Angeles Times as “by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time” and as “the real thing and the rarest” by Susan Sontag. Among his many prizes are the prestigious Premio Herralde de Novela and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos. Bolaño is widely considered the greatest Latin American writer of his generation. He wrote nine novels, two story collections, and five books of poetry before his death at the age of fifty.

About the Narrators

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received dozens of Earphones Awards. She has been named by AudioFile magazine as a “Voice of the Century,” as well as the Best Voice in Science Fiction & Fantasy in 2008 and 2009 and Best Voice in Biography & Culture in 2010. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others.

John Lee is the winner of numerous Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration. His has twice won acclaim as AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.

Armando Durán has appeared in films, television, and regional theaters throughout the West Coast. For the last decade he has been a member of the resident acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2009 he was named by AudioFile as Best Voice in Biography and History for his narration of Che Guevara. A native Californian, he divides his time between Los Angeles and Ashland, Oregon.

G. Valmont Thomas, a longtime member of the acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, has also been a faculty member at the Johnny Carson School of Film and Television at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. His voice may also be heard in a number of video games and in advertisements for radio and television.

Scott Brick, an acclaimed voice artist, screenwriter, and actor, has performed on film, television, and radio. He attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks. winning won more than fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned thirty-seven Earphones Awards.