Nandini's Reviews > One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
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's review
Mar 15, 2010

did not like it

There was a guy called Tolstoy and there was a guy called Gabriel Garcia Marquez. They lived on faraway ends of the earth and in very different eras of human history. They had one thing in common, however: a burning desire to write a big, epic story that conveys their core belief that NOBODY REALLY MATTERS IN THE BIG PICTURE AND TIME MOVES ON UNTOUCHED BY PETTY HUMAN CONCERNS.

Tolstoy sat down and wrote a big fat book called "War And Peace". It was crammed full of Stuff Happening, and more than that - it was Stuff Happening to Interesting People who Talk About Stuff and Do Cool Shit. It was just that at the end of it, after all the interesting stuff was said and done, the reader kind of realised how nobody matters in the big picture, and time marches on untouched by petty human concerns. That was pretty cool, how Tolstoy did that.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, on the other hand, made an artless, hamfisted mess of his assignment. He, too, wrote a big fat book and he crammed it full of Stuff Happening, but he beat the reader on the head with his message too early and much too often. He didn't bother writing a real story because Nothing Really Matters anyway. He didn't bother making any of the people in his book interesting because Nobody Matters In The End. He didn't bother letting any of his characters even talk, because Who Cares.

That was pretty dumb of him. It made readers not want to read his book all the way through, because what's the point? There was nothing to discover. The whole book was just plain boring, no matter how fantastical the happenings in it.

So everybody panned it, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez learned the error of his ways and wrote interesting books in the future (even when he wanted to say in the end that nothing was really interesting enough in the world). That's what happened, right? Please? Somebody tell me this is what happened... I have to believe there is justice in the world. :(
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Linda Love your review. Today as I was trying to explain why I didn't like Garcia Marquez' magnum opus, I found myself replying to the question, What kind of novel DO you like? to which the answer is War and Peace, duh, obviously. It's like, Nice try, Gabo...but, no.

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