Okay, you see these reviews for One Hundred Years Of Solitude going on and on about the magical realism, or how all of the characters have the same thOkay, you see these reviews for One Hundred Years Of Solitude going on and on about the magical realism, or how all of the characters have the same three names, or how the reviewer loved it or hated it or just didn't get it -- but you never see anyone saying how FUNNY this book is. And it really is funny -- I mean, one of the characters has a single sentence that spans nearly three pages! And it's a riot!
This book has a unique pacing to it that I theorize is part of the problem some people don't like it. It begins in a fairly fast paced manner, with lots of magic mixed in with the real world of the story. Eventually change comes to Macondo, and as technology advances there is less magic. For me, this is when the story slows down, and I'll admit that it took me at least three attempts before I actually made it through this part and finished the book. Farther along, though, the magic reappears, as time moves on, leaving Macondo and the Buendia family behind. At this point, the pace picks up again, leading to the conclusion of the story. And this is definitely one of those books (my favourite kind) where you absolutely have to read all the way to the very last word to really get it. If you've only read half way or three quarters through, you just can't see what you're missing.
This book is my absolute favourite book ever. If someone told me I could only read one book over and over for the rest of my life, this would be the book I would choose. Every single time I read it, I find something new to puzzle over. The descriptions are lush, and while the characters are (as another reviewer mentioned) never explored in depth, they are not one dimensional -- they are rich and complex, beautifu, grotesque, wonderful and maddening all at once.
I think it's helpful to view this story in terms of time -- the characters movement through time, the ebb and flow of the town and family fortunes, the repetition of names and fates, and the circling of time itself in the family's eventual end. The complexity is astounding to experience.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially to someone who doesn't mind working a bit harder to reach the eventual payoff at the end....more
This is, without a doubt, one of the best books I've ever read. It is so complex, and so full of wonderful imagery, I simply did not want it to end --This is, without a doubt, one of the best books I've ever read. It is so complex, and so full of wonderful imagery, I simply did not want it to end -- and I've spent a great deal of time (unsuccessfully) searching for a book I love as well as this one.
The first few chapters may drag a bit -- stick with it, just to the scene at the cathedral, and I'm positive you will be hooked.
There are so many incredible reviews of this book here on goodreads, there's really no point in my adding to the list -- there are MUCH better critiques than I could give. Go read them! If they don't convince you to try this book, then I don't know what will.