This essay argues that Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 (2004) and Tao Lin’s Taipei (2013) are global novels that represent the contemporary as a condition in which reality is not governed by the laws of interconnectedness. In 2666 the contemporary is neither networked nor interconnected; in Taipei it is networked but not interconnected. In both novels, the fact of interconnection is not a fact. Rather, here personhood is inoperative and networks are unavailable. From this perspective, the task of the contemporary global novel is not to produce feelings of connection and expansions of subjectivity. Rather, these narratives demonstrate that the contemporary global novel can repurpose literary character to represent informal populations—populations that are included and isolated within global systems in such a way that they are structurally precluded from the state of interconnection.