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100 Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez

22 Aug

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.

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21 Comments

Posted by on 22/08/2012 in Modern Classics

 

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21 responses to “100 Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez

  1. Claire Ady

    22/08/2012 at 15:49

    it is quite possibly my favourite book. it certainly has the best opening scene ever. I am always going on about that family tree at the beginning, I think all books about big families should have one. reading through your review is making want to re-read it

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    • StetotheJ

      23/08/2012 at 19:35

      A family tree or two would have been nice for War and Peace if i remember correctly. If you are going to reread it, then I might join you…

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  2. letizia

    22/08/2012 at 16:15

    This isn’t an easy book to review and you really captured how this book affects the reader. I agree, it’s one of those books, that you find yourself returning to just to recapture the details as there’s only so much one can take in with the first (or second!) reading.

    Every Spring, when the wind blows and the petals of the trees are shaken loose and it looks like it’s raining flowers, I’m reminded of this beautiful book.

    Great post 🙂

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    • StetotheJ

      23/08/2012 at 19:40

      As always your kind words move me! I am loathe to go into detail about the plot with certain books , so it was the ideal for discussing the impact on the reader. I’m glad this book has so much love, before posting I’d only met one other person who had read it, It’s nice to know I’m in good company with you guys.

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  3. boomiebol

    22/08/2012 at 22:03

    You are the second person that has mentioned this book…will check it out on amazon next week.

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    • StetotheJ

      23/08/2012 at 19:36

      It is an epic, it has everything, much more than the post even hints at. If you lived around my way I would buy you the book so you had no choice but to read it, lol.

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      • boomiebol

        23/08/2012 at 20:40

        Lol…getting it via amazon now :)!

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        • StetotheJ

          26/08/2012 at 15:01

          Fantastic, I read another Márquez, Strange Pilgrims yesterday, just to get into the spirit.

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  4. pennycoho

    26/08/2012 at 07:43

    When your start was someone tentative I was concerned about where you were heading with this excellent book, but you fulfilled all my expectations wonderfully (well maybe except for the anagram thing lol) Serious, there are all sorts of brilliant writers who write for all sorts of readers. Marquez is a brilliant writer because he is a brilliant writer, Period. Great write! I enjoyed it!

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    • StetotheJ

      26/08/2012 at 15:03

      I was quite proud of the anagram, but then i don’t do much getting out. Márquez is indeed a writer that will be around as ong as Dickens in my opinion. Glad you liked my placing of words.

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      • pennycoho

        26/08/2012 at 15:14

        I really did! It is a pleasure to read that which is well written. This includes your words, my friend, Penny

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        • StetotheJ

          26/08/2012 at 15:21

          I’d steal your words, but they are better on your blog, also you have nice hair.

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          • pennycoho

            26/08/2012 at 18:51

            Thanks you that is a very nice compliment. Um…okay, again thank you. But it is a pain because my hair is very fine and soft, so it’s hard to get it do anything significant. I mean it just sort of sits there, mostly, being boring. 🙂

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            • StetotheJ

              30/08/2012 at 17:08

              Boring is the new exciting, at least that’s what people have been telling me for years.

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              • pennycoho

                30/08/2012 at 18:12

                Wow I actually love that comment, way to…um the way I think things should be-ish!

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  5. Jen Thompson

    05/09/2012 at 17:43

    Great review! I’m planning on reading this for a classics project and can’t wait to get stuck into it. 🙂

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    • StetotheJ

      06/09/2012 at 16:02

      Gotta love those classics, except Moby Dick of course), the dry writing isn’t the most fun to begin with but once you grind out forty or so pages then you’ll probably be into the authors style.

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  6. 최다해 gongjumonica

    03/01/2013 at 08:43

    I will have to read this! First, I have to get a copy. Thank you for the recommendation.

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    • StetotheJ

      04/01/2013 at 20:08

      It’s always in my top five books, when I make lists. If/when you get this you will make my day.

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      • 최다해 gongjumonica

        11/01/2013 at 15:56

        Really? Then I must get a copy, right? It is my life’s purpose to make others happy even for a day. Haha

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        • StetotheJ

          11/01/2013 at 17:40

          You always make me happy because you are you and that is a very good thing.

          Like

           

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