One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club)
 
 
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One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club) [Paperback]

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,178 customer reviews)


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

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

From Library Journal

Two modern giants (LJ 2/15/70 and LJ 11/1/61, respectively) join Knopf's venerable "Everyman's Library." If you've been searching for quality hardcovers of these two eternally popular titles, look no further.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"One Hundred Years of Solitude is the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. It takes up not long after Genesis left off and carries through to the air age, reporting on everything that happened in between with more lucidity, wit, wisdom, and poetry that is expected from 100 years of novelists, let alone one man...Mr. Garcia Marquez has done nothing less than to create in the reader a sense of all that is profound, meaningful, and meaningless in life." -- William Kennedy, New York Times Book Review

"Fecund, savage, irresistible...in all their loves, madness, and wars, their alliances, compromises, dreams and deaths...The characters rear up large and rippling with life against the green pressure of nature itself." -- Paul West, Book World

"More lucidity, wit, wisdom, and poetry than is expected from 100 years of novelists, let alone one man." -- Washington Post Book World

"The first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race." -- William Kennedy, New York Times Book Review

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish

From the Inside Flap

This landmark novel by Colombia's great Nobelist chronicles the irreconcilable conflict in the Buendia family between the desire for solitude and the need for love. Its rich, imaginative prose introduced to the world the genre known as "magical realism." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

In 1967, One Hundred Years of Solitude launched Gabriel García Márquez to international fame and cemented his reputation as a literary legend. A central figure in the Latin Boom, García Márquez was the most celebrated practitioner of the literary style that has become known as magic realism, and in 1982, he received the most prestigious literary award, the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Chilean poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda called One Hundred Years of Solitude "the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since Don Quixote of Cervantes." In the New York Times, legendary critic John Leonard proclaimed, "With a single bound, Gabriel García Márquez leaps onto the stage with Günter Grass and Vladimir Nabokov." And writer William Kennedy has hailed One Hundred Years of Solitude as "the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. Mr. García Márquez has done nothing less than to create in the reader a sense of all that is profound, meaningful, and meaningless in life."

Over four decades after its publication, One Hundred Years of Solitude remains one of the most beloved and venerated books in world literature. A rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, it tells the story of the mythical town of Macondo through the lives of seven generations of the doomed Buendía family. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendías, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo one sees all of Latin America.

Alternately reverential and comical, One Hundred Years of Solitude interweaves the political, personal, and spiritual, bringing a new consciousness to storytelling; this radiant work is a masterpiece of the art of fiction.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gabriel García Márquez was born in 1928 in the town of Aracatca, Colombia. Latin America's preeminent man of letters, he is considered by many to be one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. He began his writing career as a journalist and is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. Gabriel Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
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