After 6 long months I’m finally done with this book. I started back in January when some of the people who participated on Infinite Summer started the group read. People like Matt Bucher over at Bolanobolano.com and the Infinite Zombies guys. Like Infinite Jest, the reason I got interested in reading it was because I wanted to sink my teeth into something more literary. But I soon found out that this was just a bit too literary for me and completely out of my league.
The length of course is one the biggest reasons why it’s daunting. But its anticlimactic and detached narrative compounds that difficulty. I really couldn’t enjoy this book. While there are some passages and interesting stories within, fantastic and surreal stories, they never lead you anywhere. Every character speaks in the same detached tone, making every character sound the same. Even the Archimboldi character, which is the mysterious German author the novel leads up to in the first part, sounds the same.
There’s a review I saw on Amazon that says this book is for writers and academics. Those are probably the only ones who can “get” this book and spot the self references and literary allusions. They can say this is a masterpiece, but for me this was just a rambling writerly writer novel.