Sunday, June 26, 2011

One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of SolitudeOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a giant of literature. His first novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude has been called the Don Quixote of Latin America. It has been praised as breathing new life into the form, and ushered into art the form dubbed "magic realism" further mastered by Salman Rushdie.

One Hundred Years of Solitude chronicles seven generations of the Beundia family, founders of the fictional Columbian village of Macondo. In crisply descriptive and florid prose, Marquez succeeds in making us care for the deadly women of the family Beundia. This novel starts out somber, foreboding, with one of the most memorable opening sentences in all of modern literature:

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Beundia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

From that moment on, we are immersed in a world where our causal empirical conceptions are toyed with, keeping us on edge with many wonderful reality-bending suprises. This is a novel in the form of the 19th century masterpieces of English prose, with the steady beat of Latin American mythology infused with Catholic iconology. The result is like nothing seen before, while retaining the ingredients of the best of our poetic tradition.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a modern epic, one that attempts to create the indescribable sound of our connection with reality ripping through to new worlds, and centuries collapsing into milliseconds. Relentless, largely narrative based, skip this tremendous work at your loss.

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