Customer Reviews: Memories of My Melancholy Whores
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Showing 1-10 of 74 reviews(verified purchases). Show all reviews
on August 12, 2015
This charming little novel is considered a minor work by the Nobel Prize winning Columbian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Whatever its literary status, it's a worthwhile read. The frame of the story involves a ninety year old man who falls in love with a young prostitute, who's not really a prostitute. Within that framework, the author works in some wonderful insights into aging, love, friendship and death. The prose flows through the book like a quiet river on a summer day and provides the reader with a gentle reflective tale by one of the 20th century's greatest writers.
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on May 4, 2015
Very emotional and flowery language. Typical of many Latin American authors. And very typical of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Quite an interesting story, with well-developed and vividly described characters.
I liked it.
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on November 28, 2011
I recently read the author's acclaimed work "Love in the Time of Cholera" and enjoyed it very much. It spurred me to seek out more work by Marquez, hence this and several others that I recently purchased. My second foray into Marquez was "One Hundred Years of Solitude". I was very disappointed in that novel and concerned that I'd perhaps already seen the best he had to offer. Luckily, I followed up with "Love and Other Demons", finding it to be well worth the effort.

This very short work (it has the page length of a novella, but is in reality little more than a short story, easily read in under two hours) has as its subject, a 90 year old journalist, who has decided to reward himself with a fourteen year old virgin. Upon encountering the young girl asleep, he is so overcome with her innocence that the remainder of his life is consumed with a love that is never consummated. The book is full of recollections and remembrances of his life and many of the women he has encountered.

Marquez's writing is certainly unique in its earthiness. He deals with such subjects as sex, bodily functions and graphic illness as if they are parts of everyday life ... because they are. It is refreshing.

Marquez is also known as one of the leading practitioners of the literary device of "magical realism" in which events are introduced into the story which are quite fantastic. This was a major device used in One Hundred Years of Solitude and perhaps contributed to my dissatisfaction with that work. The device is happily absent in this work.

The author's writing is indisputably beautiful and at times mesmerizing. Much like LitToC, this is a haunting and compelling story, filled with sadness and regret. It is very short, however, and not up to the standards of much of the author's previous work.
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on September 27, 2016
Garcia Marquez is my favorite author, but I'd not heard about this slim volume. The subject matter at first was off-putting but, once I started the novel, I understood the premise better. It's a lush, lovely book. Highly recommend it.
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on August 20, 2011
Despite the title, this isn't a book about a man's reflections over the women he's paid for through the course of his life. What it is, a story of hope. A 90 year old not too talented writer, having lived a solitary and loveless life, contacts an old madam to procure a young virgin for his 90th birthday, believing it's his last fling before death. But upon arrival at the brothel, the girl who's been procured for him is asleep and he finds himself oddly touched by her innocence.

He develops a fantasy life for himself and this girl, feeling her presence in everything that he does, even though she's not physically there. What is central the book is not the girl herself for we are not given any indication of her personality, her thoughts and indeed her feelings, but how the man reacts and changes with his continued fascination for her. There's something about her that manages to touch his core and awakens emotions he's not experienced before. Just when he was planning on checking out of life, he now finds himself with a new lease in life, instead of resigning from his job as a columnist, he continues writing but with a different honesty, he adopts an elderly cat and

It's a story of hope, love, self-acceptance and passion. What I wish was different though, was the author's choice of the girl. It smacked a little too much of pedophilia for my liking. But there's no denying Marquez's genius in soulful writing.
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on October 16, 2011
The story told in Memories of My Melancholy Whores is rather sordid on the surface, the type of tale that many of us would not otherwise read were it not for the fact it was written by the much beloved author Gabriel García Márquez.

As celebration of his 90th birthday a journalist of little accomplishment solicits, through his favorite madam, an adolescent virgin for his delights. The gentleman, who is never named, is more than familiar with sex, once named a brothels client of the year, but he has never known love. Never really cared to know love. That is the story on the surface. What lies beneath is a tale which at the heart is about first love with all its longing, jealousy and madness. What makes the story remarkable is that it is a 90 year old who is experiencing this and the literary mastery of Marquez keeps us engaged and makes us all believers.

Not one of Marquez' best books, but when you are talking about one of the modern day masters of fiction, even a lesser accomplishment is a treasure.
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on September 6, 2016
Good book, sometimes confusing. And please if you see in the reviews some negativity, because of how an old men felt for a girl just ignore and read the book! It has some taboo in love so don't get scared.
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on May 14, 2015
A very interesting read. I've never read anything from this author before, but I did enjoy his ability to get the reader inside a very subjective experience, through this first-person stream of consciousness account of an old man's last year on earth. You don't always like him, but he is fascinating.
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on September 14, 2015
Marquez introduce you in his world in such way that you would like to be into this magic entour but at the same time you can react and know the thinkig of the latinoamerican men. So i hope the change of mentality related with the misoginy and the treatment of the women exposed in the book.
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on October 18, 2011
His writing is, of course, superb. He makes the mundane loss of youth spectacular. You feel better about growing old; he makes it downright funny. I had good dreams when I read this book before retiring. What a wit and a sage he is!!
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