Monday, September 21
Book Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude
Author: Gabriel García Márquez
Summary: The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women--the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, Úrsula, is so moved that "the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house."
My Rating: 7.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: Although I enjoyed the book, and Gabriel García Márquez’s has beautiful writing, I don’t think the book is amazing as it’s hyped up to be. Worth reading? Yes! But it’s not as amazing as I expected it to be, it really didn’t live up to the hype or praise everyone has given it.
The writing style is beautiful, if the writing wasn’t as good as it was, I probably would have given up on the book, because, the story it self is rather boring at times. This is a book where you need to have patience, because it takes a while for anything to happen. I enjoyed reading about the characters and following them through there lives, but no character really hit me as memorable, and the characters are easy to forget once you finish the book. But it was enjoyable enough to watch the family though the generations grow and see how their lives play out, but I think that was mainly due to the writing style.
The writing style in the book flows so well, and lyrically, that it makes it hard to give up on the story, even if it was boring, because the author was so talented, and I think I’ll probably like some of his other books a lot more, where more events or there is more substance to the stories.
Would I recommend it to read: I’d probably recommend it to read, especially if you love beautiful, flowing and lyrical writing styles. But if you like books where a lot of “excitement happens” and are turned off of books that are slow moving, then it’s not going to be for you.
What to read next: I'd say check out other books by the author, I've had my eyes on Autumn of the Patriarch for a while now. Also The Stone Diaries and A Good House have similarities, in that they follow the characters over a period of time.
Challenges: 1% Well Read Challenge, 100+ Challenge