- Hardcover: 348 pages
- Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 1st edition (March 12, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394561619
- ISBN-13: 978-0394561615
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 959 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Love in the Time of Cholera Hardcover – March 12, 1988
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From Publishers Weekly
The ironic vision and luminous evocation of South America that have distinguished Garcia Marquez's Nobel Prize-winning fiction since his landmark work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, persist in this turn-of-the-century chronicle of a unique love triangle. It is a fully mature novel in scope and perspective, flawlessly translated, as rich in ideas as in humanity. The illustrious and meticulous Dr. Juvenal Urbino and his proud, stately wife Fermina Daza, respectively past 80 and 70, are in the autumn of their solid marriage as the drama opens on the suicide of the doctor's chess partner. Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, a disabled photographer of children, chooses death over the indignities of old age, revealing in a letter a clandestine love affair, on the "fringes of a closed society's prejudices." This scenario not only heralds Urbino's demise soon afterwhen he falls out of a mango tree in an attempt to catch an escaped parrotbut brilliantly presages the novel's central themes, which are as concerned with the renewing capacity of age as with an anatomy of love. We meet Florentino Ariza, more antihero than hero, a mock Don Juan with an undertaker's demeanor, at once pathetic, grotesque and endearing, when he seizes the memorably unseemly occasion of Urbino's funeral to reiterate to Fermina the vow of love he first uttered more than 50 years before. With the fine detailing of a Victorian novel, the narrative plunges backward in time to reenact their earlier, youthful courtship of furtive letters and glances, frustrated when Fermina, in the light of awaking maturity, realizes Florentino is an adolescent obsession, and rejects him. With his uncanny ability to unearth the extraordinary in the commonplace, Garcia Marquez smoothly interweaves Fermina's and Florentino's subsequent histories. Enmeshed in a bizarre string of affairs with ill-fated widows while vicariously conducting the liaisons of others via love poems composed on request, Florentino feverishly tries to fill the void of his unrequited passion. Meanwhile, Fermina's marriage suffers vicissitudes but endures, affirming that marital love can be as much the product of art as is romantic love. When circumstances both comic and mystical offer Fermina and Florentino a second chance, during a time in their lives that is often regarded as promising only inevitable degeneration toward death, Garcia Marquez beautifully reveals true love's soil not in the convention of marriage but in the simple, timeless rituals that are its cement. 100,000 first printing; first serial to the New Yorker; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
While delivering a message to her father, Florentino Ariza spots the barely pubescent Fermina Daza and immediately falls in love. What follows is the story of a passion that extends over 50 years, as Fermina is courted solely by letter, decisively rejects her suitor when he first speaks, and then joins the urbane Dr. Juvenal Urbino, much above her station, in a marriage initially loveless but ultimately remarkable in its strength. Florentino remains faithful in his fashion; paralleling the tale of the marriage is that of his numerous liaisons, all ultimately without the depth of love he again declares at Urbino's death. In substance and style not as fantastical, as mythologizing, as the previous works, this is a compelling exploration of the myths we make of love. Highly recommended. Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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For most of the book, I thought it was a tragedy not a love story. I disagree with many reviewers, it was not a book about unrequited love, because Florentino Ariza was never in love. Even though Florentino Ariza was successful in a worldly sense, I felt sorry for him. He never loved Fermina Daza, they were never much more than acquaintances. He wasted his entire life being in love with the idea of being in love, but never understanding what love is. Love is not a disease, it is not infatuation, it is not lust, it is not an extreme form of like. For most of his life, his love was about himself, even when he was proud to be suffering for it. Only at the very end did he realize that love is about the one being loved, it is something you do; love is a verb, not a state of being. Also, only at the end of the book did I really understand the title of the book.
Florinto is in love with Fermina, and is rejected by her after their initial infatutation. Florintio will not give up he is waiting for Fermina husband to die to recindle the romance. Florintino is a man with need who while being faithful in spirit has affair after affair with other women as he waits. Fermina has to deal with a series of marital strife and bliss as Floritino waits out her marriage. Marquez gets to examine a great deal of love relationships in this book. It is excitingand changing as love and life. This is my first Marquez book but it will not be my last. The text is rich in details and may drag a little at times but preserver it is worththe read.