I do not, however, admire bullfighters. When one strips away all the pageantry and history and romance, what one is left with is the ritual torture and slaughter of an animal for the titillation of a bloodthirsty crowd.
I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to end up hating this book. Not merely failure to enjoy or dislike, but outright hatred. For all I may admire about Bolaño's undeniable skill as a writer, for all his facility with prose and wry observation, I am coming to detest what I see emerging as the central theme.
I had a lengthy diatribe all composed in my head, and I've decided to shelve it for now. We are still only just past the halfway point, and I'll withhold my final opinion until the very end. All I will say is that I think Steve is probably right:
It appears to me that we are being presented with a particular vision of the nature of human existence by a man who takes pride in portraying the most troubling aspects of that existence with nary a flinch. That’s all. There is not a lick of redemption here nor is there held out the hope of any because that is the way he sees the truth of the matter.
If, at the end of the book, I have found nothing to dissuade me from this interpretation, then I'll say exactly what I think of this particular vision of humanity.
As for this bit of the Part About the Crimes, I find myself weary of trying to find something about which to comment. The mutilations of the bodies have become more horrific, like something out of a remarkably gruesome Thomas Harris novel. We are treated to brief musings about the relative appeal of prison rape as compared to the rape and murder of women. Some crimes are solved, and more are not.
At this point, I almost feel as though I should apologize to the other people participating in the group read. I have a nagging feeling that my comments are going to become increasingly disapproving and uncomplimentary, at least until we're done with the crimes. I'll continue to post weekly comments, and I'm always glad to have people stop by to add their thoughts, but I fear I'm adding little to the conversation at this point.