One of the 20th century's enduring works, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement of a Nobel Prize winning career.
The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.
Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility -- the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth -- these universal themes dominate the novel. Whether he is describing an affair of passion or the voracity of capitalism and the corruption of government, Gabriel Garcia Marquez always writes with the simplicity, ease, and purity that are the mark of a master.
Alternately reverential and comical, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” weaves the political, personal, and spiritual to bring a new consciousness to storytelling. Translated into dozens of languages, this stunning work is no less than an accounting of the history of the human race. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
In a sense, I have no idea what to think of this book. I never got used to death in this book and let me go ahead and warn you – there is a lot. The other aspect that really throws a reader off is the very matter of fact presentation of fantasy. If you were a child and had this book read to you, it’d be very difficult to distinguish between real events and the magical. I know Marquez was inspired by stories he was told as a child in this manner, but it is interested to read in an adult book.
The last part of the book that throws me off is that there doesn’t seem to be an overt purpose to the story. You are given 100 years of the history of a family and then it ends. This does not take away from it being a story that sucked me in, but it does keep it from being a story that changed my life or ranks of the top shelf. Perhaps with reflection I’ll understand more why this is considered one of the best modern boos, but in the mean time I’ll just give it a solid four stars.
Warning: Contains violence
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Folks who like epic tales.