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One Hundred Years of Solitude (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Paperback – February 21, 2006
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“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)
From the Back Cover
One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women -- brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul -- this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.
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Although I feel I missed a lot about what was going on symbolically whilst reading (mostly a lot of the religious stuff), I still found this book to be extremely enjoyable. It's inspiring and surreal, whimsical, funny and sad--and it all causes a person to feel very introspective, because it blends so many aspects of what makes up a person's life. I looked up some of the themes and motifs after reading to make sure I caught everything, and I prefer many of my own interpretations. And I think Gabriel Garcia Marquez meant to write it in a way that was a more personal experience. At the end notes, he mentions in an interview how he wanted to capture the way an abuela tells stories to her grandchildren-- and I got that vibe the whole time. And a lot of times, the surreal in crazy old latin american stories is what makes you remember the life lessons behind the story. And I feel like that's what happened here.
But again, I feel like most people I know wouldn't like this book, and I can see where they're coming from. It definitely isn't for everyone. And I must stress that that's not coming from a pretentious place. His writing style will be frustrating to many readers I'd presume, because it's really just incredibly unique. But, if you can get past the style (long paragraphs, little fluctuation in narration, mentioning things that haven't really happened yet, or no main protagonist... etc) and the repetition of names, it really isn't super complicated or anything.
It isn't perfect, but It's great. And even though I started this review planning to give it four stars, after writing it--I think it's an important enough, and intricately weaved enough, and a unique enough a piece to warrant a 5-star from this fella.
In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez has done nothing less than recount human history and, yes, even human nature itself, seen from every angle, in a mere 417 pages.
Since many of the reviewers here have identified the glories of this breathtaking novel far better than I could, it would be redundant and presumptuous to paraphrase their observations.
Suffice to say that One Hundred Years of Solitude marks a leap forward in the art of fiction comparable to those achieved by Proust and Joyce.
William Kennedy wrote: "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", and Salman Rushdie called it "the greatest novel in any language in the last fifty years".
I've read it eleven times in the past three decades and, believe me, it is the ultimate Gift That Keeps On Giving.
Please give it a try. After all, like me, you may end up cherishing this book for what all great art truly is: a joy forever.
Most recent customer reviews
The captivating novel of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” takes the reader through the story of the Buendias family.Read more