My review of...
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez
Harper, 2003 (first published 1967)
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I imagine attempting to spend one hundred years in solitude would leave you a bit loopy, even hallucinatory. Wading through Márquez’s novel simulates this somewhat: you lose your sense of what’s real and what isn’t and which sort of motives make sense in a person. Really, it was all I could do to keep track of the sprawling Buendía family’s sprawling story lines.
Márquez is clearly a creative genius and his prose is beautiful. It’s no wonder he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. If you’d like to lose yourself in hours of artful description, an enchanting/enchanted version of the Colombian rainforest awaits you.
But personally I wasn’t up for all seven generations of this saga. The paragraphs ramble to disorienting lengths and the characters lose themselves in delusions as thick as the jungle in which they live. I guess my reality is a bit less magical than Macondo’s: the library’s due date cut my hundred years short.