One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Laura's Review)
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
One Hundred Years of SolitudeGabriel Garcia Marquez
First sentence: 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.
Reflections: I learned something reading this book: I learned that I do not particularly care for "magical realism." I was initially attracted to this book because it's one of the "1001 books you must read before you die," and because the author has received such critical acclaim. It seemed like a must-read. When I decided to read it to satisfy both the "Reading across Borders" and "Spring Reading Thing" challenges, it became a must-read. I perservered, but in the end I am left with little to say about this book.
One Hundred Years of Solitude is a multi-generational family saga. Magical realism, according to Wikipedia, is "an artistic genre in which magical elements appear in an otherwise realistic setting." I was reminded of American folklore like Paul Bunyan. The characters had unusually strong abilities, and fantastic events like plagues happened often, and yet the setting in which this occurred was a sleepy rural village that you might find anywhere.
The writing is lyrical and in that sense I can understand why Marquez is so highly regarded. I just couldn't connect with the style and I think this may be one of those books that would be more appreciated if read as part of a literature course, where you can explore the themes and hidden meanings of events that take place in the story. As leisure reading, it left me flat.
My original review can be found here.