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Showing 1-10 of 543 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,523 reviews
on May 5, 2014
One Hundred Years of Solitude really isn't as difficult or confusing as some reviews make it seem. People make it seem like it's impossible to get through so many repeating names, but even when the characters share a name, almost every single character (until the last generation--and by that point the first characters are long gone so that it wasn't really confusing) has a unique name. How is that confusing? And anyway, it doesn't take too many chapters or a genius to figure out they all share the same names for a reason. Also, I must say, if you don't like the first 50-100 pages, you probably aren't going to like the rest of the book. It stays like that... Plus, the first Jose Arcadio Buendia is one of the more entertaining characters in the book, in my opinion. But, I think Aureliano Segundo and Remedios The Beauty were the highlights in this book. I was cracking up throughout their scenes.

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.
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on July 21, 2015
I was in a book club for three years. It was called Erudite Tonight. We read a book every month. Of all the classic books I've read, 100 Years of Solitude was the absolute best.

It chronicles a family through a hundred years. It's dense storytelling, like a condensed soup, where an entire story is told in the span of a page. It's a huge chronicle, like reading the summary of a century's old soap opera. Like The Simpsons, storylines repeat. But that's the point of the book. Sometimes they learn from their mistakes, other times the characters (all of the protagonists are of a single family) are ignorant of their family's past.

It also introduced me to the world of magical-realism, where magic is rare, but exists, disguised as coincidences.

I HIGHLY recommend this novel.
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on April 17, 2015
In The Aleph, Jorge Luis Borges' sublime short story, "all the places of the world, seen from every angle, coexist" in a single point of light a mere two or three centimeters in diameter.
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.
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on May 2, 2013
I picked up '100 Years of Solitude' as what i hoped would be an uplifting break from the Collected works of Kafka, and it's hard to imagine a less Kafkaesque writer than Gabriel Garcia Marquez. If Kafka's great strength was to revel in the tortured misery of the familair, Marquez is equally deft at summoning the tender caprice within death and decay. After 'magical realism' became a trend, a lot of authors (and filmmakers, and painters, etc) took it in a direction that was very fantastical without a solid grounding in the sort of genuine folklore spirit that '100 years' has. One of the biggest problems I see in magical realism and realistic fantasy is when its writers are obsessed with the things they have created while losing the plot of the creation; they become engineers of their made up world and suck away the essence of what made it magical to begin with. That works great for things like D&D, but it doesn't make a real solid story, the kind you could tell a child falling asleep around a fire. 100 Years of Solitude is like a personal Bible - not that what happens in it is biblical or Christian in any but the most superficial sense, rather, a peek into what a world would be like if every family wrote their own Bible.
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on February 23, 2016
This, in my opinion, is one of the world's best books. I can't imagine anyone not liking it. I have to buy a new copy, every now and then. This one was for my daughter. My parents used to keep a big stack of them handy, to give away to friends.
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on September 11, 2012
I first read this book in a college English class. Then, as a teacher, I chose this for a class I was teaching. I would recommend reading this book every couple of years as, depending on where you are in life, you will get something new out of it. This is my favorite book by Marquez.

Garcia Marquez masterfully tells this tale, set in Latin America, about the birth and death of a family as revealed to the world by the finest of Latin American writers in the genre of magical realism. It is an essential book to anyone who wants to look at Latin American literature. Each time I read this book, I have found it to be funnier and sadder than the last.

I am a serious reader, a lover of life, and a happy person except when I am not, and I usually have something good to say about every book I read if nothing other than I note a graceful turn of phrase or a creative use of some word but to say a book is one of my favorites and that I actually can recall the book title and author (I have read far more than one book a week since I was about 10 years old) is not to be taken lightly. This book is right up there in possibly my top 5 all-time favorites. Magnificent might be the best way to describe this book. Perhaps in my list of books to recommend, besides Irving who is my all-time favorite, would be Cuelho and Marquez as do-not-misses.

The story itself can be a bit confusing but you cannot help but be sucked into the story about the town of Macondo and the lives of the Buendias, each with their own very unique life: some adventurous, some like hermits. The viewpoint is seen through thr eyes of the people as they see themselves growing toward modernization with the discoveries of Melquiades and Jose Arcadio Buendia, and the Banana Company (and its later massacre which haunts the town). The lives of the residents are a metaphor, in fact, for the reaches of our imagination and it requires us, the reader, to think perceptively about life.

Read it if you have not already. I promise you will not be bored.
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on May 26, 2016
This is a famously fabulous book, in many senses of the adjective. I've tried to wade through it several times, but this is the first time I've made it all the way through. Unlike some other wonderful books, this is one is easy to pick up and put down, for there's no danger of losing the thread of the narrative. There is no single thread, but a tangle of them. Trying to separate them is to lose the point, if any. It's hard to follow the main character, for he has the same name as about a dozen of them. The solitude of the title is enjoyed/endured by many people with the same name - and by other people in their peculiar universe, together but apart. Disturbing and oddly humorous at times.
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on May 24, 2017
I haven't got through much yet, but you should know, the Oprah Book Club paperback edition is poorly printed. It has halftoning and jagged letterforms and edges, which makes it less easy to read. Not impossible, but just not great. If you can, find another printing.
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on July 4, 2015
The book was in great condition, and good as new.

As far as the book goes, One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my favorite books of all time. I've revered it for it's writing style, the plot, and the way in which Marquez encapsulates and engulfs the reader into his theme of magical realism. Reading requires a certain level of patience, and such is demonstrated with Marquez. The book culminates so beautifully that I can't help but be dumbfounded. It's a book that you can read and think about for the rest of your life. It highlights the themes of solitude that we so comfortably forget.
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on January 3, 2017
I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude in my Latin American Literature course and I've been hooked on Gabriel Garcia Marquez ever since. The plot and timeline move quickly and fold in on themselves, making each page interesting, but a little tough to chew on. This is not a light read. If you blink you'll miss something. It's definitely one of my favorite books and I'll read it time and time again. This book is the pinnacle of magical realism.
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