One Hundred Years of Solitude

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
ages: adult
First sentence: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distand afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

The short story? Magical realism and I just don’t get along. I don’t know what it is; you’d think with all the fantasy books I read that I’d love the subtle of play between reality and magic, but it just doesn’t work for me. I find it grating and somewhat annoying and confusing and just plain irritating.

Also: I really don’t trust books that were part of the Oprah Book Club.

The long story? I’ve heard about Gabriel Garcia Marquez for years and years, and always figured, since he was so highly acclaimed, that I ought to read him. So, when I finally got the opportunity, I was quite interested. And yet, it didn’t take me long to realize that this book is completely incomprehensible (to me). It was flipping between time and memory and the plot was utterly confusing. I wasn’t getting much out of the lives of the characters.

So, halfway through when I couldn’t see a way out of this muddle that Marquez had gotten me into, I bailed. Without a backward glance.

Because magical realism and I are just not friends. At all.

2 thoughts on “One Hundred Years of Solitude

  1. Maybe if you ever end up revisiting the book, you will discover that the confusion you experienced was intentional.

    I'm not a huge fan of the novel, either.


    The reason you didn't get anything out of the characters was because that's how Garcia Marquez intended it–you are not supposed to be able to keep anyone straight and feel a connection. The novel is cold, and the generations feel cyclical. That is part of the theme of hopelessness.


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