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One Hundred Years of Solitude (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
“At 50 years old, García Márquez's masterpiece is as important as ever. . . To experience a towering work like One Hundred Years of Solitude is to be reminded of the humility we should all feel when trying to assert what is true and what is false.” -- LitHub
"An irresistible work of storytelling, mixing the magic of the fairy tale, the realistic detail of the domestic novel and the breadth of the family saga.” -- New York Times
“One Hundred Years of Solitude is substantive and substantial, and its prose precise for the simple reason that its sentences are too exquisite to be inessential. It is a novel on which is bestowed the laurels usually awarded to great works of frugal prose. Yet its genius is in the operatic telling.” -- The Independent
“One Hundred Years of Solitude offers plenty of reflections on loneliness and the passing of time. It can also be seen as a caustic commentary on the evils of war, or a warm appreciation of familial bonds. García Márquez has urgent things to say that still feel close to home, 50 years after the book was first published.” -- The Guardian
“One of the seminal works of 20th century Latin American fiction, it is a classic.” -- Variety
“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
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.
- Publisher : Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (February 21, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 417 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060883286
- Lexile measure : 1410L
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.05 x 5.35 x 1.09 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Throughout the book you discover your favorite characters with their quirky personalities. The Buendia family is full of weird adventures and mystical encounters. From the gypsies to the invention of ice, the book jumps around from sentence to sentence illustrating the personality of this family simply in syntax. There is love, civil war, death, magic, and redemption in it’s many pages.
Many reviews had issues with the numerous similar names and found the book simply confusing. But if you were reading the book with a close eye, you realize that it was all for a reason. It was written almost “as if the world were repeating itself.” And as you struggle to read, “time put things in their place.” Yes, these are quotes from the book itself and are so direct to the theme and overall meaning that they seem to be overlooked. The book’s confusing almost repetitive nature was to illustrate a grand motif. The circular motif. How everything comes around in time. That fate is such a huge force in everything that happens.
Overall, I would give this book 4 stars. That seems low for all the good things I had to say about it, but in the end I rate it lower than 5 stars simply because I struggled to relate with it. It was so different from the books I normally read that it became hard to really be drawn into it. I did love however the circle motif and how everything wraps up just as it should. Sure, all of the crazy adventures and writing style was interesting and unique, but it didn’t capture me personally as well as it may have captured someone else. If I were to read this again (or another book by Marquez), however, I believe that I would feel more comfortable with the writing style and mystic side of the culture and I would relate to it better. I would suggest this book to someone who wants to try and read something different from a lot of other “mainstream” books out there.
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.