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One Hundred Years of Solitude
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1001 book reviews > One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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message 1: by Diane (last edited May 31, 2017 08:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane | 1918 comments Rating: 5 Stars
Read: May 2017

A beautifully told story and a masterpiece of magical realism, it is the story of several generations of a family and the founding of the village of Macondo. It is not an easy read, as there are lots of characters, many of whom have similar (or the same) names. The best way to describe this book is "dream-like", it is so over the top with magical realism. In real life, none of this would make any sense, but in a dream state it makes perfect sense. I look forward to reading it again soon.

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments 1 star

It seems I may be one of the few people on earth who doesn't like this book. I understand that Marquez uses magical realism throughout. I understand that this book is a classic. I get it that it is an epic story covering a huge span of time and using flashbacks and flash forwards brilliantly. Unfortunately, none of that helps me to enjoy this book. I found it disjointed and boring. I never learned to like any of the main characters. I never fell in love with the place. And for me if I do not love the characters or the setting nothing else matters much. For me, character is king.

John Lee was the only thing I enjoyed about listening to this book. He is always good. In fact, he is generally better than good, and that remains the case here. Despite his excellence I couldn't get through it. I quit about 3/4 in. I tried desperately to like it. I even went to Spark Notes to read the synopsis and analysis of the chapters I had finished hoping it would enlighten me to chunks of the story I had missed -- but I had not missed anything.

Kristel (kristelh) | 3801 comments Mod
July 26, 2008 – Finished Reading
Rating; 3 stars

Review: This book by Columbian author, Gabriel Garcia Marguez is my first magical realism read. It is a story of the Buendia's family and the founding of Macondo. The names keep repeating and the story is filled with strange, fantastic and incredible scenes. It is an unofficial alternative history for Columbia. This story is so magical that it hard to put anything into words to describe it. It is a book of Latin America caught between modernity and preindustrilization, civil war and imagination. It incorporates other realities both mythological and Biblical. A key theme is solitude, a humanistic concept, we always end up living our lives in solitude, no one else can live our life. It also speaks of the inseparability of past, present and future. The past becomes one with the future. Another motif is memory, "weight of too many memories".

Book Wormy | 1815 comments Mod
April 2020
3 Stars

While I love later examples of magical realism I was not in love with the "Daddy" of the genre. Don't get me wrong I appreciated this book and the effort that must go in to finding an entirely new way to tell a story it was just that the story itself felt kind of flat.

We follow several members of the same family over a time span that to my mind cannot be 100 years (too much social change, children growing up, civil war etc) from the founding of the village of Macondo until the death of the last founding member.

The family have a tradition that each new boy will either be given the name of Aureliano or Jose Arcadio or a form of these names. Each of the children will inherit some of the characteristics and memories of their ancestors and to the family these are easy to spot.

As their village grows and changes around them the principles of the founding fathers (that each man has access to the same as everyone else) begin to fall by the wayside. We see the family enlarge their own home, expand their lands, seek to govern and finally start unwinnable wars because they can.

As the story progresses we move backwards and forwards in time; we learn that the dead are never truly gone and that they can still influence the living; we see the destructive force of jealously and several instances of incestual behaviour but with a family tree as confused as this one that is not surprising.

As an alternative history of Colombia I enjoyed seeing how things would unfold and how real events would be explored within the magical realm of the narrative.

My favourite character was the gypsy Melquiades who initially brings the outside world to the village and who never truly leaves them even after he dies in a foreign country.

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