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It is typical of Gabriel García Márquez that it will be many pages before his narrative circles back to the ice, and many chapters before the hero of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Buendía, stands before the firing squad. In between, he recounts such wonders as an entire town struck with insomnia, a woman who ascends to heaven while hanging laundry, and a suicide that defies the laws of physics:
A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta's chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.
"Holy Mother of God!" Úrsula shouted.
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."
With One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez introduced Latin American literature to a world-wide readership. Translated into more than two dozen languages, his brilliant novel of love and loss in Macondo stands at the apex of 20th-century literature. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I really loved Marquez's wide-ranging imagery. As for the plot, well . . . there really isn't one, in spite of what many readers seem to think. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Daniel Bessie
I am not fond of non-fiction, but this book initially intrigued me because of the author's creative ability to weave elements of reality into his fictional story. Read morePublished 9 days ago by J.M. Sandler, Author of 'Caspian Diary'
This book is horrible! I can't believe that it is a Nobel prize winner!!Published 10 days ago by Richard T Richter
If you can get in to the spirit of it it is a wonderful quirky,zany but meaningful readPublished 11 days ago by catherine drohan
Give yourself plenty of time to read this one...it was a very hard book to get into due to the style of writing but it is one of those books that is surprisingly full of... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Maria in Seattle
I will say first that this kind of book is not for everybody. I am pretty liberal with my allowances and this book was almost too much for me, maybe because the storyline is also... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Kiaya
An enjoyable read, lots of patience and a bit of perseverance is needed to complete this book. All in all in the effort is well worth it. A must read!Published 13 days ago by Sylvia Wamalwa
Obviously a well respected author. I read it to check into the author. It was not an especially memorable or enjoyable book (not that "enjoyable" is a requisite for a... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Shelly
Fantastic even after at least twenty readings. Always something new and with each reading a new episode stands out as being particularly memorablePublished 17 days ago by Philip