Henry Avila's Reviews > One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
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it was amazing

Jose Arcadio Buendia, decides one day in his small, rather impoverished town, set in South America (Colombia, in the early 1800's ), that he wants to leave, say goodbye forever to the relatives, a killing makes him feel uncomfortable there, taking his pregnant wife Ursula, his first cousin, explore the mysterious lands , beyond the unknown horizon, with his followers and friends, over the treacherous mountains, through the dense, noisy, jungles, full of wild animals, and sickness...months pass, they have not yet seen the sea, their ultimate goal. Lost with little food left, surrounded by a vast uncrossable, repugnant swamp the tired leader finds a suitable place by a calm river, after dreaming about a city of mirrors. Buendia builds a little village, in this hot tropical region, he believes is encircled by water, of only twenty adobe homes, though all are happy to stop and rest. So remote that no one knows they exist, no map shows Macondo, the strange name Jose calls it. This will be a better life for all, a utopia, his people will prosper, the first born will appropriately be a Buendia, the son of Jose and Ursula, named after the founder of the town Jose Arcadio himself, soon another son Aureliano and daughter Amaranta, seven generations will live here, the last six, to be their birthplace . Macondo slowly grows, ragged gypsies somehow discover this most isolated town, led by the bright Melquiades, bringing modern inventions from the outside world, and some that never were of this Earth...flying carpets, right out of an Arabian Nights fable, more magic , turning things, into different shapes and objects, in their annual welcomed visit, the local children become unfazed by such weird events. Still the gypsy Melquiades, is not or does not seem quite human, more of a ghost from who knows where. Time passes , the unconventional Buendia family thrives, ( they have a propensity to fall in love, with their own kin) nevertheless trouble breaks out between the Conservative and Liberal Parties in the nation. Resulting in many years of savage civil wars, the endless conflicts , destroy the land, eventually the army is headed by Col. Aureliano Buendia, on the liberal side, son of the unstable Jose, a ruthless soldier who kills his conservative enemies , as well as liberals, who get in his way, yet will not name himself a general. The numerous Buendia family continues to get richer, Ursula, is the rock, so Macondo flourishes, many villagers live over a hundred years, trains come, electricity, phonograph records, radio, movies, even baffling automobiles are spotted. The banana plantations too, established nearby, with their bloody workers strikes , the foreign owners arrive , importing odd fashions and customs. The old decrepit Buendia house, the largest in town becomes haunted by dead relatives . Still children are always being born, (including Remedios Buendia, the most beautiful woman on Earth, she causes four men to die, unable to get her love) , most are " illegitimate" though, the kids, not knowing who their real parents are. And slowly the outside begins to discover this town, for better or worse. But will it last? A tremendous novel, a one of a kind book that maybe doesn't show reality, but does tell us people are complicated and unpredictable.
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Reading Progress

January 28, 2015 – Shelved
January 28, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
February 14, 2015 – Started Reading
February 24, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-38 of 38 (38 new)

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Aditi I loved this book! It's a really amazing book! :-)


Henry Avila So do I, what a unique book.Can't wait to finish and see what happens, Aditi.


Aditi :-)


Mona Nice review of a book that is an old favorite of mine.


Henry Avila Thanks Mona, a fabulous book.


Aditi It's a great review Henry! :-)


Dolors 5 stars coming from you is a rarity Henry, glad to see GGM swept off your feet. Plus I loved the understated and elegant sentence you chose to conclude this review with:

"A tremendous novel, a one of a kind book that maybe doesn't show reality, but does tell us people are complicated and unpredictable."

So true! Maybe because I am thrilled to have finally met Shakespeare, but I think the same universal idea could be applied to his plays. Finished Macbeth last week...and ready to tackle Hamlet next! :)


Cherie I need to finish this one day. I have made it almost all of the way through twice and stopped. So hard to pick back up and start again.


Henry Avila Dolors wrote: "5 stars coming from you is a rarity Henry, glad to see GGM swept off your feet. Plus I loved the understated and elegant sentence you chose to conclude this review with:

"A tremendous novel, a one..."

This book was so fascinating, the writer's best, Dolors it has become a classic.Thanks as always.


Henry Avila Cherie wrote: "I need to finish this one day. I have made it almost all of the way through twice and stopped. So hard to pick back up and start again."
I hope you finish the book, Cherie,you'll be glad , it's a great novel.


message 11: by David (new) - added it

David Sarkies From your review it sounds like an awesome novel. I am so going to have to get my hands on it.


Henry Avila I think you will like it, David, an unique novel.


Henry Avila Aditi wrote: "It's a great review Henry! :-)"

Aditi, thank you, I loved this book.


Henry Avila Dolors wrote: "5 stars coming from you is a rarity Henry, glad to see GGM swept off your feet. Plus I loved the understated and elegant sentence you chose to conclude this review with:

"A tremendous novel, a one..."

Hamlet is probably the greatest play ever written, many people say, and I can't argue wilth that statement.


Renato Magalhães Rocha How happy I am to read this great review of one of my absolute favorite books!


Henry Avila Thanks as always, Renato. A magnificent book. Now ready to tackle LLosa, in a few months, so many other novels to read yet.


Nicole~ Tough book to get through without a weedwacker. Glad to see you made it through Macondo. Great review, Henry.


Henry Avila Thanks Nicole, it was a pleasure to read.


message 19: by Sara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sara Good review. I did not like this book as much as I thought I would, but I am glad I read it. There was so much about human nature in this book.


Henry Avila It is kind of a strange book,Sara.


message 21: by Freddie (new)

Freddie Bates Great review Henry. I tried reading it 25 years ago and got bogged down. Now older and wiser I love this book. I quote passages to my partner and she enjoys it but will probably never read it.


Henry Avila Thank you, Freddie, this is an unique, brilliant book.


message 23: by Raju (new) - rated it 5 stars

Raju Huck I liked your review! The first few sentences had a lingering contemplative tone that almost reminded me of the author himself!


Henry Avila Thanks ,Raju, a great book to read.


Miquel Reina For me this is a Matserpiece too!


Henry Avila I agree, Miquel.


message 27: by Tanvir (last edited Sep 13, 2016 10:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tanvir Ahmed Henry, i am reading this book now.It's a great book no doubt but the naming of the character did not bother you?i mean it feels like same name for every character.


message 28: by Henry (last edited Sep 13, 2016 11:26PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Henry Avila Just ignore the names and get back to the wonderful plot, I did ,and the main characters. Your friend.


Ellie Great review for a great book Henry!


Henry Avila THANK YOU...it was a great read yet some will not go on the ride.


Kevin Ansbro Wonderful review of a wonderful book, Henry!


Henry Avila Yes it is a magnificent book, thank you..


Henry Avila Yes it is a magnificent book, thank you..


Henry Avila Hello and may the bluebird of happiness fly through your window...


message 35: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Fauchelle love the cover.


message 36: by Jim (new)

Jim Fonseca Nice review Henry. Read this years ago - I should re-read.


Henry Avila Thank you my Lusitanian friend , quite a good fairytale story, or as they say today...magical realism.


Henry Avila Colleen wrote: "love the cover."
It is nice...


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