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June 2018: Magical Realism > Love In the Time of Cholera - Garcia Marquez - 4.33 stars

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message 1: by Kristel (last edited Jun 16, 2018 04:03PM) (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 699 comments Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez.
This one by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is by far my favorite. I've put it off so long as I find him hard to read but this one was great. Love the use of symbolism and even though most consider this a love story/romance, I loved it because it was about aging and how love changes as we age. A story of two young people who fall in love in the youth but do not marry each other. Instead Fermina marries a doctor with good social standing. Florentino, the boy, is a womanizer and a romantic. He rises in his business career and in his sexual exploits of 622 affairs while he waited for Fermina to be free again.

I was really drawn into the book by the birds; the parrot that escaped and was in the mango tree, the perfumed crows and the pigeons. Birds represent temptation and danger. The prostitutes presented as birds but especially the perfumed crows. Perfume that masks the underlying reek of carrion.
Other symbolism included the title love in the time of Cholera; cholera as metaphor for love--messy, incontinent. Florentino with his love sickness and constipations and enemas.
Water as cleansing at Urbino's funeral on Pentecost. And someone also mentions the final ride on the river. Then note that the "river has changed over time from full of trees and life to no trees to fuel the boat (love) and no manatee (mother's nursing their babies) as the lovers take there final and lasting trip on the river in a boat flying the flag of cholera.
Themes; Narrative as seduction, narrative as destruction, Love as an emotional and physical disease. Aging and death.

This book hit a lot of my favorite subjects especially aging and death.
Great book and I thought the magical realism was light.


message 2: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 485 comments I have also been putting this book off. I hope I enjoy it as much as you did Kristel.


message 3: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments I’m glad you enjoyed it. I did too
For me as well the theme of ageing was a strong (and compelling) one
And the parrot description at the start was wonderful and pulled me in

I didn’t think of the birds symbolism - interesting point :)


message 4: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6844 comments Kristel wrote: "Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez.
This one by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is by far my favorite. I've put it off so long as I find him hard to read but thi..."


You were able to draw so much more from that than I did when I read it.

Florentino annoyed me so much that it sucked my pleasure from the book. I like the beginning, but the middle and the end not so much.

It is clear that I let my annoyance interfere with the message.

Thank you for your great review.


message 5: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 699 comments Booknblues wrote: "Kristel wrote: "Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez.
This one by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is by far my favorite. I've put it off so long as I find him hard..."

I didn’t like Florentino either.


message 6: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments I think he builds Florentino unloveable on purpose.
The pages dedicated to his bold head, fake teeth and sex with a minor he was in charge of, were there for a reason
I think both his books that I’ve read (this one and 100 years of solitude) were misleading - they both pretend to be sweet and nostalgic, but they pack so much harsh truths and ideas behind it


message 7: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6844 comments Kristel wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "Kristel wrote: "Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez.
This one by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is by far my favorite. I've put it off so long..."


Hard to like Florentino


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