Customer Review

162 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for hopeless romantics, September 5, 2000
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This review is from: Love in the Time of Cholera (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) (Paperback)
If you swoon at the thought of hopeless, tortured romances, then you must read this book! Florentino Ariza's long (half a century!), passionate, and tortured love for the haughty, oppressed Fermina Daza is the stuff of masochists. When the lady of his heart goes and marries another man, Florentino spends his life pining over her. Despite his finding solace in hundreds upon hundreds of sexual encounters, his heart remains true to her. Everything he does, he does with the hope of one day regaining her love. His rise as president of the local shipping company, his redecorating his childhood home, his devotion to the arts -- it's all for her. So strong is his love for her, that his tortured passion resembles the symptoms of the dreaded cholera, the disease that repeatedly ravaged this Caribbean town. And of course, there is also Fermina's husband, the illustrious Dr. Urbino. As the most respected, most innovative doctor in the region, he is beloved by all..... except his wife, who married him more out of convenience than anything else, after she realized that the poor Florentino could offer her very little. So will Florentino get his woman after waiting over 50 years for her? This sad, tragic, often humorous tale is, for me, Garcia Marquez's best novel... a must-read for both fans of the author and hopeless romantics alike.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 19, 2007 6:21:57 PM PST
Lisa says:
hmm that's intersting that you take such a view on his love. I agree that he's hopelessly in love with her- but don't you think that there isn't anything pretty about such a love??? Is it love, or mearly the desire to have something that you have slaved your life over having? is such a love pure or romantic?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2007 11:15:46 AM PDT
citygal says:
I agree with you on this, Lisa. I found that Florentino didn't love Fermina so much as he loved the idea of having an unrequited love. It seemed as if this love served as the guiding light of his life. He gains it in the end, but it is a different type of love than what he imagined.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2007 12:29:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2007 12:34:44 PM PDT
I think the point is that it's a different kind of love, but that it is, like a fine wine, as best it can be because it has grown with age. It is even better, now that they've lived and learned their entire lives, and have become finer with age.

If this seems too fake for modern Hollywood's rendition of love (pure, perfect and true), it is all the better for it. Florentino loses his virginity and gains the revelation that his illusory love for Fermina Daza "could be replaced by an earthly passion" (143)- he knows it is fabricated. But, just like that, in the end he realizes that love is a feeling and a state of existence, and one he has strived his entire life for.

And, to add the final bit of perfection, they are in their death throes- as ephemeral and quixotic as the love Florentino followed his whole life, is all love. They realize this, and have learned to cultivate love for what it is, the transient but utterly beautiful best times of one another's lives.

Posted on Nov 14, 2007 9:56:40 PM PST
C. Rockett says:
I think that the perception that Fermina is not in love with her husband is wrong. The book shows us over and over that she loves him, and besides a couple of hard times in their marriage (which do occur in almost all long marriages), they were happy. She may be angry when he dies, but it is apart of grief to be angry at the one that has left you behind. Her depth of grief in the novel showed, to me, how much she did love him. As the novel states, she may have not loved him in the beginning but it did become that-for both husband and wife.
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