Even though this book was written by Nobel Prize-winning Gabriel García Márquez and is widely considered his magnum opus, I couldn't get through it. I read only to p.135 (large print edition). I can't begin to tell you all the things I didn't like about the book. First of all, so many of his characters' names were so similar to one another that it was difficult to keep them straight.* Not only that, but he kept repeating
the same long names over and over. (Other readers in our book group also complained about this.) I didn't recognize any real character development. There weren't enough paragraph breaks. There was no compelling plot, just bits and pieces of events scattered here and there, with no orientation. The time shifts were confusing. This contributed to the ambiguity. Too much jumping around. Where was this story going? I couldn't guess.
*To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, the different characters' names were as follows (i.e., each of these was a different character!):
José Arcadio Buendía
Colonel Aureliano Buendía
José Arcadio Segundo
José Arcadio (II)
Aureliano Babilonia (Aureliano II)
SEE DETAILS AT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_hund...
I tried referring to SparkNotes, but even those notes were too opaque.
The above Wiki page said:
"The novel chronicles a family's struggle and the history of their fictional town, Macondo. Although the title implies that the story spans one hundred years, it is unclear exactly how much time the narrative covers. This ambiguity
contributes to the novel's treatment of time, as there is a notion that time lapses, repeats, changes speeds, or stops altogether at different parts of the story, and that all the events in some sense happen simultaneously.
Scattered bits and pieces of the book were interesting, but on the whole I did not enjoy this book. It did not hold my interest.
I have read about why this book is supposed to be great, but I just didn't see that. Whatever the book was trying to say, whatever analogies it was trying to put across, never became clear to me because I found the book so boring and unreadable, regardless of how beautiful some people say the prose is. I'll never understand why this type of writing, with so many flaws, is considered to be great.
Edit 4/1/11 - I LOVED Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera