So, I just binged part 3 in about 90 minutes. I find that's the only way to read this goddamn book. There's less cohesion than part 1 (am ignoring part 2 entire), but more imagery. I much prefer the portraits of the places and people that overlap in parts 1 and 3 from the perspective of our intrepid journalist, who's the only character so far I've found interesting. I keep wondering why he's black. What does Bolano of all people have to say about Harlem and the Panthers? (And what's the reaction when he does discuss that stuff -- witness the recent hubski post on the Asian guy who wrote the bestseller about the American south.)
You know in advance that the boxing match will be dismissed in moments. You know the outcome, too. You know that the Panther isn't going to be acknowledged as a revolutionary or an action-hero from the moment he's introduced. How do you know these things? From reading part 1. You know there's going to be alcohol, and time spent in small taquerias (probably the same taquerias as were inhabited in part 1), and you thought you knew there would be sex but somehow "Fate" fails to have sex with anyone, defying expectation.
And yet, and yet. This book is extremely fun to write about, I find, and extremely fun to imagine. Maybe it's just because I've seen movies like No Country for Old Men, and I've read books like The Devil's Highway and Tortilla Flats and every other little thing that influences my imagery which accompanies part 3. Maybe it's because I've been in and out of south Texas all my life.
I dread reading this book but I like thinking about it.