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Love in the Time of Cholera
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Monthly Group Reads > Love in the Time of Cholera (May 2019)

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Mariah Roze (mariahroze) | 1370 comments Mod
May is Ageism. Our book is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez


Christine | 22 comments I remember really liking Love in the Time of Cholera, when I read it years and years ago. I'm not in the right frame of mind for re-reading it just now, though; however, I'll be interested to read what others have to say, about how ageism factors into the story. : )


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 428 comments Started it a few days ago. I like it so far.


Sarah Rigg | 118 comments I read this in 2017, and this is what I said about it at the time:

"I was a little hesitant about this book, worried it was a "classic" that you were supposed to admire but that might not be that interesting to read. I was pleasantly surprised at what a fun read this was. It has a lot of heavy themes, such as betrayal, and finding love again when you're elderly and think you're done with that part of life, but it is infused with humor, wonderful descriptions of animals, and a deep understanding of human nature. I really liked this story of Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza, two young lovers whose romance is ended before it really takes off. She marries a wealthy doctor instead of the poor poet, but he pines for her his whole life. Their lives intersect again after they are both very old and Fermina's husband has died. I ended up enjoying this a great deal and would like to read more by Garcia Marquez."

I got some extra perspective on this book by co-reading it with my mother, who was 79 years old at the time, and really related to a lot of the themes in the book. :)


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 428 comments I have reached a point (40%) where I despise and hate Fermina Daza. The older she gets, the more disappointed I am with her character. To me, she is a horrendously ridiculous self-absorbed pompous conservative rigid frigid ninny. I know this book is an award winner and highly recommended. However, I hate Fermina and people like her in real life. I don't know if I can finish this. If this literary acclaim is about how accurate the author depicts such people, he totally nailed it.


Sarah Rigg | 118 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "I have reached a point (40%) where I despise and hate Fermina Daza. The older she gets, the more disappointed I am with her character. To me, she is a horrendously ridiculous self-absorbed pompous ..."

I ended up losing respect for Florentino as well, over the course of the book, especially during the section that deals with his niece.

I still enjoyed the book overall for the quality of the writing and the themes around aging and end of life.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 428 comments The literary facets of this novel are sparkly and blinding! Multiple dimensions of meaning are behind every main concept and many words. But it takes awhile to grok this novel. Patience is required.

I cannot stand reading purist old-fashioned 1970's Harlequin-style Romance genres. But this book is only superficially a Romance.

The Harlequin romantic surface features, which had me doubting I would finish reading: On the surface a woman, Fermina, is courted by two men of wealth and means but in different social classes, both of whom never need concern themselves with not having money or bills or not having a house over their heads. She chooses one, the upper-class one, their marriage survives ordinary domestic issues, children arrive, time passes, they suffer romantically ups and downs. She directs servants who do all of the labor, but she is praised for her 'work' of management, despite that the housework would go on without her direction, maybe not so in such a tight-assed manner. She frequently travels to Europe by high-class boat where she has every amenity provided by servants. Her husband is a doctor, and sex with him is clinical, when it happens at all.

Yawn, right? I'm so bored. Plus, Fermina is a tight-ass snob, more concerned of her virginity and social reputation than anything else going on - a shallow bimbo, right? Did I mention humorless? Yuck. Helmet hair personality.

The other suiter, Florentino, lower-class but also wealthy, physically unattractive, moves on but never loses his love for Fermina. He is actually the most Harlequin-style romantic character, initially, swooning in passion eternally and internally, heart beating rapidly, for just a glimpse of Fermina. He swoons and lives for Romance every second of his life even when he has become elderly, living on and on into his eighth decade. Omg, at this point, I was only continuing this book because it is selected for the month by this club. Wtf! Where is Márquez's legendary literary intelligence?

Florentino, the florid idiot, surrounding himself with sex, love, passion, flowers, perfume, poetry - mostly by thousands of sexual encounters with widows and prostitutes, each of whom he adores in the moment with intense 'love' and romance. He eats flowers and they make him deathly ill, but he eats more flowers anyway. Eats. Flowers. Upsets his stomach, vomits for hours on the Romance of it all....

There is Márquez being Márquez. That tone of not quite satire, ironic, smirking behind his hand at the Human Condition.

Now, I am liking the book.


Edward (edbic) aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "The literary facets of this novel are sparkly and blinding! Multiple dimensions of meaning are behind every main concept and many words. But it takes awhile to grok this novel. Patience is required..."

I agree, the satire is understated, but that's what this book is about.

I just finished it last night, my thoughts are in my review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Megan | 117 comments I actually read this, or listened to it on time, but didn’t manage to post anything. I don’t think Marquez is an author for me. I appreciate his skill, both with language and world building, but I’m appalled at what feels like his romanticizing of pedophilia. My mother loved this book, and that surprises me because she usually dislikes stuff with sexual predators, which is what Florentine was. I think she liked the realness of it, one of her favorite sayings is A relationship lasts as long as it lasts, and that’s certainly the case in this book. She also liked the ending on the boat, but for me, it was like ?!!! Are they the equivalent of the Flying Dutchman, doomed to perpetually cruise the river? What happens when supplies and money run out? Can’t they just take the yellow flag down and dock somewhere else?


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