It is really unfortunate that this is the first book I’ve read of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The style of the author is brilliant and easy to understand...moreIt is really unfortunate that this is the first book I’ve read of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The style of the author is brilliant and easy to understand , the sentences are long and descriptive without being boring.
The book is about the love affair of a 90 year old man and a 14 year old peasant girl , if you can even call it an affair because the girl is asleep during the man’s nightly visits to the brothel she works at. The man decides to celebrate his 90th birthday by deflowering a young virgin and the mistress of the brothel he calls suggests Delgadina (the old man’s name for the girl).But the girl panics and has to be sedated .So when the man enters the room he finds a naked sleeping little girl. He watches her till down and this repeats every night. He doesn’t want her to be dressed up in womanly clothes , he wants her to always remain innocent , child-like and sleeping. He decides that he doesn’t enjoy her voice , doesn’t want to know her real name , actually he doesn’t want to know her at all, he makes up a personality for her , the made up version is way better than the real one for him , he describes her undeveloped body with vivid details , it was really disturbing. Was this supposed to be twisted? It feels like the author went for the shock value.
This guy is a typical male , he’s selfish ,he’s jealous, when he thinks she’s been with another man (even though this is his paranoia) he attacks , destroys the furniture in the room and screams whore at the top of his lungs( which is stupid because she works at a brothel and he’s spent his entire life purchasing whores) , he’s controlling and basically wants to own a girl who has never been awake near him.
What’s ridiculous is that at the end of the book according to the author the girl loves him back , that’s just a stupid male fantasy , she has never seen him , talked to him or been near him when she’s awake (except the time when he was throwing furniture at her when he thought she had slept with other men).How the hell can this 14 year old girl be in love with a 90 year old pedophile? I will read other books from this writer before I decide I enjoy his books or not because the writing and the style was very nice but this particular book was quite a let down for me.
EDIT ------ EDIT ------ EDIT ----- EDIT
Ok , obviously I wasn't being clear before , the plot isn't the problem with this book , a 90 year old man falling in love with a 14 year old girl is a viable plot , the problem is that I'm not buying the fact that this book is supposed to be satire . This book isn't showing us what the real world is like , and the dark side of humanity. The book isn't saying "Look how the girl and the man think they found love , isn't it twisted?" It reads like a good old romance story.
If the man thought he was in love and they were perfect together in his head alone , this book would be interesting . But all the other characters also say how good they will be together , they all are able to observe their love. Why is everything so rosy? How is this realistic? It could have showed that the girl was appalled by this and the man could have been blind to this. Because I certainly have seen that before in real life. Or if the girl was supposed to be broken inside also , it could have implied their imagined romantic love was formed out of a dire situation and that is what people do anyway.
I don't mind twisted characters , or stories with rape and abuse nor do I want a style that says "oh look baddies doing bad things". In fact a lot of books portray twisted characters like that and this takes away from the realism of the characters. But don't tell me that Marquez and his style isn't sexist and he is trying to show us how twisted the world is. His prose is too cute and too romantic for that. If that was his intention , how people imagine love even in their despicable acts (like raping out of love and yes , a rapist thinking he is raping out of love would be an interesting concept to explore) , I'm sorry but he failed in my opinion. If we were supposed to see the delusions of the mind , I suggest he tries a different style. I should be able to pick up that vibe from the book alone and it just fails to present that.
You might think it went over my head but I beg to differ.
PS -If you are saying "this man is 90 and in love and it's romantic , people like that exist in the world , it's their right to do whatever they want and Marquez is amazing for writing about them , so fuck you!" then well , I don't care for the romanticisation of their pedophilia or if you want to get technical , ephebophilia. So , "fuck you" back.(less)