Book Review: 100 Years Of Solitude

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Thank You John Field 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the most confusing and profound books that I've read in some time. It's the story of a Spanish family in a town called Macondo accross 5 generations that parallel the development of civilization itself. Much of the book's content is soap-operish detail about the family and town's history. But it is so eloquently wrapped and so mystically close to the human experience that what I would normally call tedious was a joy to read.

A joy to read, but difficult at times. 100 Years of Solitude is very non-linear with lots of flashbacks and fades. It makes it difficult to focus on the plot. But ultimately, the details of the plot turned out to be less important than the prophetic and recursive theme.

I have to admire Marquez's style of prose. First, his balance of plot, theme, and detail. Second, his ability to really touch your humanity and even primality with the calibar and breadth of his characters. Finally, and in my opinion most admirably, he conveys so much depth of interpersonal relations with so little dialog.

This is my first read by Marquez. I think that Marquez's writing is very similar to that of Anne Proulx author of The Shipping News (which is coming out as a movie!). I've since aquired books by both authors (thank you dad). I look forward to reading them.


You'll see this again ...<br>

<i>Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice....The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point.</i>

As well known as this book is, I still find it amazing how much I hear the opening line of Marquez's book. It's like "Call me Ishmael", instantly recognizable and somehow transporting. This book is really magic, critics love it (who cares) but what I remember is how magical it was to read this book with all these surreal things happening, but it all seemed perfectly natural - I love books that draw you in and glimpse what's inside a human soul, whether it be tragic, or transcendent. It's a shame you can only read it for the first time once. Maybe when I get old I'll get Alzheimer's and get a chance to read One Hunderd Years of Solitude for the first time again. If you haven't read it, you should, you'll really should. Glad you finally did Jim!