One Hundred Years of Solitude

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia)

Synopsis

Equally tragic, joyful and comical, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” inhabits a strange dream-like space where very little makes real sense, but everything is mysteriously and vividly alive nonetheless. Blending fantasy and reality seamlessly, the characters struggle hopelessly against a merciless backdrop of madness, corruption and death… all measured out equally with farce and fatality; as profound a statement on the human condition as possible.

An acknowledged masterpiece, this is the story of seven generations of the Buendía family and of Macondo, the town they have built. Though little more than a settlement surrounded by mountains, Macondo has its wars and disasters, even its wonders and miracles. A microcosm of Columbian life, its secrets lie hidden, encoded in a book and only Aureliano Buendía can fathom its mysteries and reveal its shrouded destiny. Blending political reality with magic realism, fantasy with comic invention, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is one of the most daringly original works of the twentieth century… Read more

Favourite Quote

…races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.

My view

At 422 pages, this was the shortest of the 6 Big Books from my reading list. Although it is described as a masterpiece, I did not enjoy it at all. There wasn’t one likeable character in the whole story and it felt like I was reading a school assignment for a history class. I remember trying to read this book when I was in my 20s and I gave up after a few chapters. This time I finished it with great difficulty, but I’m afraid I can’t find one positive thing to say about it!

Big Books Challenge 2014 reading list

There were some books in my to-read pile that I’d been putting off reading for years because they are over 400 pages long. So one of the reading resolutions I set myself for 2014 was to choose six of them to read that year (one every 2 months). And I did it; I cracked their spines and finished them all! The 6 books were:

“I Am A Cat” by Soseki Natsume (Japan) – 470 pages
“Wizard of the Crow” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Kenya) – 766 pages
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia) – 422 pages
“Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden (Canada) – 432 pages
“No Man’s Land” by Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam) – 450 pages
“A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry (India) – 614 pages

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