Tuesday, June 14, 2011
ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The House of Buendia rises and falls as its members are born, make love and war, and die or refuse to die.
This seminal work of magical realism by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez follows one family and its many denizens through a hundred years of life and death. The people are bitter and passionate and powerful, and each one is doomed to solitude in some form. Throughout the life of the house they explore debauchery, invention, and mysticism, and fall into the strange and passionate cycle of the House of Buendia. Each one has a fatal weakness, a supernatural strength, and a destiny that is shaped by their membership in this singular household.
Despite how quickly life passes through this family, the characters are rich and intricate and memorable. The golden thread that holds the story together is Ursula, the mother and prescient stronghold of the family. As each character cycles through the novel, Ursula is constant and aware of the ebb and flow of the family's fortunes. She takes the supernatural knowledge and extraordinary qualities of the family and its ghosts in stride. She is the anchor in this turbulent collection of relationships and feuds and failures.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez captures the passage of time in a vivid and passionate style. He takes a story of myth and magic and makes it feel real because each character is so fundamentally human. He describes each conflict, loss of innocence and flight of fancy with rich language that makes it possible to tell a single story in which many generations grow old and are forgotten. Reading this novel makes all the problems of the world feel momentary, because they are just episodes in a much bigger picture. I am obviously not the first person to love this book, but seriously, you must read it.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I bought the paperback English edition at the magical Eslite Bookstore in Taipei for about 10 USD
How does solitude drive the destiny of this family? What does it mean to be alone in a world full of people?