Henry Avila's Reviews > One Hundred Years of Solitude
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Henry Avila's review
Jan 28, 2015
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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