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Love in the Time of Cholera (Oprah's Book Club) Paperback – October 5, 2007
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“A love story of astonishing power…. Altogether extraordinary.” --Newsweek
“Brilliant, provocative…magical…splendid writing.” --Chicago Tribune
“Beguiling, masterly storytelling…. García Márquez writes about love as saving grace, the force that makes life worthwhile.” --Newsday
“A sumptuous book…[with] major themes of love, death, the torments of memory, the inexorability of old age.” --The Washington Post Book World
About the Author
Gabriel García Márquez was born in Colombia in 1927. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. He is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love In The Time Cholera, The Autumn Of The Patriarch, The General In His Labyrinth, and News Of A Kidnapping. He died in 2014.
- Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0307389731
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307389732
- Dimensions : 5.19 x 0.78 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Vintage; Reprint edition (October 5, 2007)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Back in that era of arranged marriages and long drawn out courtships based on societal status, romanticism was at a different level and pace, but don't be fooled by the main character and feel the pity. That is the trick of this book - is understanding that we are hearing the story from the POV of a very sick, obsessed and persuasive narcissist. And Fermina Daza is captured by him in the end. Very poignant the foreshadowing of Dr. Urbino's dying words "you'll never know how much I've loved you" to Fermina. Because she never will - she is caught up in the sickness of our main protagonist's "cholera" and her own loneliness. Dr. Urbino, being the champion of curing other's of the deadly disease of the time, is destined to die never being able to cure the "cholera" that exists in his own marriage. Ariza does not "love" Fermina. He doesn't even know her. He is in lust with her and it is because he can't have her. Throughout this story, he has many sexual trysts with others, yet thinks of himself in virginal terms, because he has not conquered the grass that is greenest to him, Fermina. Many readers believe it is truly a book about "love" but it isn't and that is what could be dangerous. This book treads a fine line and a level of sophistication that may bypass many.
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.
Top reviews from other countries
The bizarre thing about this book was that I came away with the sensation that, in its almost 400 pages, nothing had happened, when in reality the book tells the story of two people’s entire lifetimes.
Despite its title, I don’t consider this to be a book about love. What Florentino feels for Fermina is not love but infatuation. Without ever having spoken to her, he decides that he loves her and must marry her. That she seems to respond to his stalkerish behaviour remains an unexplained mystery to me and so her decision to rebuff him came as no surprise. His decades-long obsession with her never really seems realistic, which places in doubt the ending of the novel and renders it unsatisfactory.
Maybe I'll rediscover the book's appeal, though hopefully before another thirty years pass! Meanwhile I can't bear to give such a great writer fewer than four stars.
The writing is drawn out and takes a long time to get somewhere. Don't expect to be captivated and drawn into a compelling novel. While it focuses on a fictional character and a chance to observe a character from a perspective that we may not readily encounter, it is still very difficult to empathise and develop an interest, even if it's a negative one.
It is considered a love story but is more focused on infatuation, obsession and an inability to move on in life. The difficulty in accepting it as a love story is that it verges on creepy and uncomfortable.
I could not finish this book but managed to get halfway, enough I feel to give this review.
It is a beautifully written story that was recommended to me by my very own 'Florentino' and I so enjoyed reading it that I delayed finishing it as I didn't want it to end.