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The protagonist says of himself: "I have never gone to bed with a woman I didn't pay ... by the time I was fifty there were 514 women with whom I had been at least once ... My public life, on the other hand, was lacking in interest: both parents dead, a bachelor without a future, a mediocre journalist ... and a favorite of caricaturists because of my exemplary ugliness."
The girl is 14 and works all day in a factory attaching buttons in order to provide for her family. Rosa gives her a combination of bromide and valerian to drink to calm her nerves, and when the prospective lover arrives, she is sound asleep. Now the story really begins. The nonagenarian is not a sex-starved adventurer; he is a tender voyeur. Throughout his 90th year, he continues to meet the girl and watch her sleep. He says, "This was something new for me. I was ignorant of the arts of seduction and had always chosen my brides for a night at random, more for their price than their charms, and we had made love without love, half-dressed most of the time and always in the dark, so we could imagine ourselves as better than we were ... That night I discovered the improbably pleasure of contemplating the body of a sleeping woman without the urgencies of desire or the obstacles of modesty."
Márquez's style never falters throughout this recounting of his life and his exploration of love, found at an unexpected time and place. The erstwhile lover is still capable of being surprised--and fulfilled. After an absence of ten years, it is a treat to have another parable from the master. --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Great book, and so true of old men still harboring dreams of love and pleasure. A pleasure to read from an old master.Published 22 days ago by brianmpa
I can see a lot of people hating this book, because the main plot involves a 90 year old falling in love with a 14 year old virgin whore. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Markus
Ho Hum, maybe I would have liked this book when I was young, however, now I thought it quite boring. Sorry GGM!Published 3 months ago by lorraine sweetman
What can a mere mortal say in the face of such courage and creativity. It is truly liberating to receive the insights of such a free mind. Makes one feel alive oneself.Published 4 months ago by Graymauser
Neat novel from the perspective of an old man who is reflecting upon his life, and the evolution he continues to experience even in his last years/months/days.Published 4 months ago by KJay
Another book from my new favorite author. The story of an old man, looking for love in all the wrong places. Entertaining and sometimes humorous. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer