Samilja's Reviews > Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
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's review
Aug 17, 2007

it was amazing
Read in February, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I'm a GGM fan and as such, I am utterly incapable of approaching one of his books with objectivity. One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my all time favorites and I did not expect to enjoy Love in the Time of Cholera as much as that book - probably because of all the hype it's received on it's 20th anniversary and as a result of Oprah lauding it. Well, color me stupefied, I loved it even more than 100 Years.

Yes, this is a love story of sorts - it spans more than 5 decades and the 'lovers' at the story's heart interact in person only in the last 25 pages or so & only after all that time has passed. But as with all GGM books, the real story is in the details. It's in the absolute fabric-like breadth of the book. I read an interview where Marquez talked about his penchant for delving into the minutiae (he relates it to his early career as a journalist)and for me, this is exactly what I love about his stories. On the other hand, I've had several friends with whom I typically share book opinions tell me that they can't 'get through' one of GGM's books (no matter which Title is in question). They find him hard to follow, or too slow, or tedious - maybe all of the above and then some. I can appreciate that but I actually enjoy the slow pace of these novels. I like that I really find a sense of feeling for the places and the characters that I often don't find in books where the plot unfolds quickly and development is forward-moving. Marquez embraces exposition which I think can turn people off or on - just depends.

Specific to this book, I love that once the story was told, I could think back through the novel and realize that the love story in question is really just a metaphor for cholera (or is it vice versa?) and the havoc it wreaked for decades on the characters' Caribbean homeland. The central character here, Florentino Ariza, is not particularly lovable. He's very human in his many vices and peculiarities and one must question his emtional and pscyhological stability when considering his lifetime spent in pursuit of what amounts to idolatry. Then again, many spend their lives this way, with the same hypocricies and faults - just not in the name of love.

I am amazed to know that someone made this novel into a movie not long ago - I'm curious enough that i think I'll watch it although I can't imagine it being successfully done. Marquez books embody exactly those characteristics I think would elude a film: languidness, patience, detail, and a receptivity to veering off in many directions without the expectation of always finding resolution.
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05/06/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Penny We're reading this for our book club - You'll have to let me know what you think... I haven't started it yet - but, I'm looking forward to it:)

Emily i'm reading other people's reviews of love in the time of cholera, trying to find out why people like it. i definitely didn't like this book, but i really appreciate your comment on cholera as a metaphor. it will make me look at the events of the story with more detail.

Judy I want to respond to your comment that "the real story is in the details." I am coming back to the book for a third attempt in about a decade. I picked it up and continued from where I left off the last time--the very memorable scene in which Dr. Urbino dies. Marquez creates these moments of magical realism with such crisp clarity. This particular scene is literally burned into my memory with photographic quality.
This time, I am interested in reading it to the end, but I feel relaxed about it. As a result, I am able enjoy the fluidity of the narrative more than ever.

Azra Milaimi this book is very beautiful....i would have read this book a 100 is more then watching a stupid romantic movie!!!!!

message 5: by Brooke (new) - added it

Brooke Krysiak I just finished One Hundred Years of Solitude, and I mean five minutes ago, and want to read another book by him. My friend loved One Hundred Years of Solitude, but couldn't get into this book. Should I read this book?

Samilja I'll say this - they are quite different stories and many people I've talked to loved 100 Years but loathed Love in the Time of Cholera. I loved them both.

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