Being slow of late with the news, I was deeply saddened to hear that Gabriel García Márquez has dementia. Deservedly a Nobel prize for Literature, winner, it is now my mission to get people to read his great works (for starters), this being one and Love in the Time of Cholera being the other one.
When I was recommended this, I begin with a certain degree of trepidation, I think it was to do with the family tree at the beginning, I always worry I may get a tad confused. That didn’t happen but the person who recommended it to me (Chris Elliot, interestingly an anagram of his name is erotic hills), got a fifteen minute rant about how much I enjoyed it, which I’ll try to condense for you.
Having said that, it is slightly annoying to know that whatever I write about 100 Years of Solitude will not do the book justice. So absolved of all expectations I shall begin…
The plot centres around seven generations of the Buendía family, who found the town of Macondo. The story then shows the continual growing, warring and miracles that surround both the family and town in conjunction.
You would have to be dead inside to not to be moved in some way by this work, it’s utterly majestic on so many levels, from the clever writing through to the emotions of the characters. Each character has a personality identified by one emotionally different aspect, which is handy as it enables the reader to tell the characters apart as they all have similar names, as was the tradition back in the day. it really feels like Marquez has lived the life of each character and the authority with which he writes is so immersive the pages just fly by. It’s almost like an authorial schizophrenia.
The almost Einsteinian way time travels for each character is also a fascinating plot device throughout. Combined with the fairytale elements of magical realism, and the cyclical quality of time and nature, all come together to make a vibrant and imposing monument of a book.
The lyricism of the prose, the satire, the logic that makes the surreal believable, the microcosm of just being, and the uplifting nature of every word that just screams of Márquez’s love of life all encapsulate how magnificent and sumptuous this book is. When I come back to rereading this it will definitely be something to savour and I know I will spot so many more small new details that will continue to make this book a rich experience.