Friday, November 09, 2007

Love in the Time of Cholera (by Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

My friend h pressed this book upon me, insisting that I had to read it before I saw the movie or the trailer and ruined everything. The other day we saw Michael Clayton and I even went so far as to stick my fingers in my ears and shut my eyes when the trailer came on, because I had been forewarned.

I've tried to read One Hundred Years of Solitude (by which I mean I've started it) so many times and I've never made it through. Someone recently called that book Thirty Pages of Boredom and I was like, that's right, I don't like magical realism, I don't like the opening of that book, I must not like Marquez. I WAS WRONG. This book is awesome, awesome. (Don't read the next paragraph if you haven't read it yet; just go buy it and then come back.)

I was predicting one ending, but the book surprised me totally. It's got such an interesting complexity to it. The characters do not fall neatly into roles. The lovesick lead is kind of horrible and directly causes the deaths of at least two women. Fermina Daza makes a choice that isn't even necessarily wrong even though in a lesser book, the author would judge her more evidently. Along the way you get this beautiful, lucid, poetic meditation on love and aging and devotion. It's such a gem. Highly recommended; thanks, h!


Blogger elasticwaist said...

i have struggled with this book the way you have. always pick it up, never get very far. and yet some of my favorite people in life call it their favorite! perhaps it's time for another go.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Jana said...

Hmmm. I also disliked One Hundred Years of Solitude (which I called What I Would Require in Order to Finish this Book), and concluded I disliked Marquez. I'll give this one a go over my winter break based on your reaction, since you tend to feel the same way about books as I do.

6:51 PM  
Blogger jannette said...

On the other hand, I totally loved One Hundred Years of Solitude, and was a little so-so on Love in the Time of Cholera. In the first, a little too much happens; in the second, a little too little happens. I got a bit impatient with all the characters. Still liked it, though-- just not quite as much.

7:01 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

Jana, that is hilarious. I think that's also what I would require to finish the book! Except that it's on my reading list project. Oh well. I did like Cholera a lot, though. Don't listen to Jannette! (Hee. Hi, Jannette!)

1:01 PM  

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