one hundred years of solitude

This post originally published on a previously-owned blog and was imported here to simplify my life. Please excuse any confusion due to this merge. I hope you enjoy the content!

And they weren’t kidding…

Through the lives of a variety of characters, the author, Gabriel García Márquez tells the story of a fictional town in northern Colombia.  The town was so far separated from other cities that in several instances in the book, one would learn all about an invention that was “so last year.”  It was an overall happy town to begin with and it was pleasurable to read all the accounts of wide-eyed fascination with items we live with every day – i.e. mirrors, phones, electricity, etc.

And then the wars begin.  And then the politics.  And then the deaths.

But through it all, Márquez would describe the cyclical nature of time and how everything just really repeats itself in this world – over and over and over…  I’m not even close to a literary expert but I imagined he was portraying this theme a lot in the book.

I’ve come to find out after reading this book (and drafting this post) that there are a lot of negative reviews on it.  I’m glad I didn’t know that beforehand because I am glad I read it – just not super thrilled.

I like reading books that are well-known and those that have even reached the “classic” stage (such as this one).  General conversations refer to books, characters and famous quotes and I like being able to nod my head and actually know where the reference came from.  So that’s reason #1 I read this.

Reason #2 was because I very much loved Love in the Time of Cholera.  I thought his writing style was fantastic (which I suppose gives secondary props to the translators as it wasn’t written in English!) and I thought the subject or theme didn’t matter as much because his writing was so beautiful, it just carried me along easily.

Well… I guess that subject did have something to do with it, because trudging through all the warring and other mini-topics of One Hundred Years of Solitude certainly made it take longer to finish.  Of course, my tendency to read multiple books at one time might also have something to do with that…

It was a sad book.  How can such good style of writing cover such sad and mundane events?  It was totally depressing with constant deaths and pathetic lives and dismal situations.  Yet, I kept reading?!

It was weird.  I’ll just say that Márquez had one impressive imagination.  Lots of magical and mythical activities and occurrences… it’s a bit hard to describe, so just trust me.

It was long.  Yes, it was 448 pages and it seemed to never end… buuuuut it was a page turner.  Good grief, I am so being contradictory right now…

It was lonely.  The title nailed it.  Each character (and there were a LOT) lived in their own version of solitude.  At certain times, there were so many people living in one house that you wouldn’t think so, but as Márquez deeply portrayed the inner workings of the individuals’ daily routines, their thoughts and their feelings, it triggered much sympathy for the fictional beings.

But it was so very well-written!  I don’t really know how to combine the bad and the good of this book to produce the star rating Goodreads is asking me to do!  :/

If you’ve read it, please let me know what you thought of it. 🙂

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