Michelle asked:

So are we all supposed to be ok with the pedophilia? A young school girl being taken out of school in order to have sex with her decrepit guardian, this is somehow excusable?

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Carly Tia I agree. I thought he was more and more objectionable as the book went on (the guy was a lunatic) and the 14 year old relative was the culmination for me - I truly felt disgusted. Maybe that was the point and is definitely the sign of a good writer - but I couldn't help but feel that to write about a man like that you had to somewhat think like a man like that. It was a very male ego book, to be sure. It left me discontented. Again, probably a good work of literature to be able to create so strong a feeling. Another thing I was trying to bear in mind is that 15 was a normal age to get married 100 years ago - but still. The scene and imagery was revolting.
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Gisela Hafezparast Totally agree. Really, really could not get on with this book and it's macho ideas. Found it very objectionable. Don't understand why everbody likes it so much.
Lucia I was shocked reading that and he was so concerned with keeping his secret that he didn't inform her parents about her struggles at school when he received a letter from the school. Perhaps if he had done this, it would have saved her from suicide.

Another part of his character which affected me was the fact that earlier in the novel, the narrator states that Florentino tells all his lovers the same fact - that he is a virgin. And then later near the end of the novel, he lies to Fermina and tells her the same thing. So it makes you wonder how much he values her beneath his obsession and the fact that he has made love a game for so many years of his life. At the same time though, he is also losing the ability to perform and seems to lose some of his desire for promiscuity when Fermina enters his life again.
Mary I also felt disgusted by this, especially by how things ended for the girl. Although as mentioned, maybe that's a sign of good writing....it certainly did generate real feelings of horror.
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