Love in the Time of Cholera Love in the Time of Cholera discussion


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message 1: by Jess (new) - rated it 1 star

Jess we just read this at book club and I have never seen so many people hate one book so much. I was told it was a must read and a literary classic but i too have never hated a book so much! Anyone else?


Richard i made it exactly half way and was attacked by the "really who gives a shit" bug and threw it away


message 3: by Jess (new) - rated it 1 star

Jess wow melanie, I barely got through it once!


Amanda I also did not care for this book. I did read it, but I could not get behind the characters or into the story.


message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy Goodman I totally agree.. I was expecting to be blown away by the novel but I actually found myself decidely underwhelmed. I didn't engage with the characters and the plot just didn't seem to go anywhere.

I have 100 Years of Solitude on my TBR pile but I fear it may sit there a while before I will try Marquez again, (although I do want to!)


Megan Baxter Of the two, I enjoyed 100 Years of Solitude a lot more than Love in the Time of Cholera, although I liked both, and neither entirely blew me away.

I think the magical realism is more developed in 100 Years, and I really enjoyed those aspects.


QueenAmidala28 Amy_victoriana wrote: "I totally agree.. I was expecting to be blown away by the novel but I actually found myself decidely underwhelmed. I didn't engage with the characters and the plot just didn't seem to go anywhere. ..."

I agree. GGMarquez is supposed to be a phenomenal writer but I can't enjoy any of his books? Maybe I need to read them in Spanish?!!! :) May I suggest Allende or Cohelo for Latin writers . . .


Marija Personally, what bothered me the most were the characters. I couldn't get myself to understand them or find any loveliness in them. You know how there are characters that are completely imperfect and flawed but you love then anyway because that is a part of their charm ; but the characters in this book just got on my nerves.


Pamela If you are looking for characters you can love, you may want to have a look at The Shadow of the Wind. It (along with a lot of Allende's short stories) remind me very much of "Voice of the South"....especially Flannery O'Connor. Eccentric characters who seem to make perfect sense in their own strange way.


Rachel Hirstwood I read this through sheer stubborness! I hated it!


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 17, 2011 07:30AM) (new)

A lot of people speak of how they disliked the charaters. That's understandable, but it's also what the author probably intended. He didn't want to make them lovable, he wanted to make them realistic, and I think he succeeded. How many people do we meet in everyday life that we spontaneously adore or find irresistably interesting?


Javed Hayat Having read both 'Love in the time of Cholera' and 'One Hundred Years of Solitude', I hold 'Solitude' as a far superior piece of work than 'Cholera'. No comparison to be honest.

While reading 'Solitude' was a great fun, an experience of sorts, 'Cholera' was a tedious bore right till the end. And if it hasnt been for Marquez's unique/witty approach to prose writing, would have been very hard to finish.


Javed Hayat Amy_victoriana wrote: "I totally agree.. I was expecting to be blown away by the novel but I actually found myself decidely underwhelmed. I didn't engage with the characters and the plot just didn't seem to go anywhere. ..."

You have got to give 'Solitude' a chance, it is an excellent piece of fiction, and holds no comparison with 'Cholera', reading which was an awful experience for me as well.


Robin I liked Solitude better for the descriptive pieces in it, the names stymied me at times, because the ancestors were given the main characters names, but i was told this book was a long one, but i persevered, I also liked Cholera, the movie is amazing with Javier Bardeem, the book evoked for me that love is timeless, and it can be conquered again.


Simone Ramone I loathed this book as did our whole book club. I believe we actually got an apology from the girl who picked it.


Kiessa I loved this book, I hated Solitude. I just had a similar conversation about Cutting for Stone. People either LOVED or HATED that one too...


Jessaka I loved One Hundred Years of Solitude, but this book was so boring, and I hated it. What a disappoint about One Hundred!!


Jemma I loved both this book and 100 years. I think you have to approach it without the high expectations some of you seem to have had. Just let the events unfold, the characters develop as they might if they were people you knew and let it all flow over you. Life in South America back then was so different to now that even for just the context, these are worth reading.

Regarding 100 years of solitude how could you not be moved by the woman in denial about her blindness or the way the banana factory strike and the deaths were simply erased from History?


Robin That is how I am feeling about now about The Brothers Karamazov, it is an epic novel, sometimes I need to read something in between a lighter read somehow.


Alyssa I also did not really enjoy reading this book. I wrestled my way through it because I hate quitting a book, but there was hardly any plot reward for making it to the end. I also thought the movie was dull! I am shocked to see when people have it on their favorite book lists!!!!


message 21: by REDD (new) - rated it 5 stars

REDD Jess wrote: "we just read this at book club and I have never seen so many people hate one book so much. I was told it was a must read and a literary classic but i too have never hated a book so much! Anyone e..."

Did anyone say why they hated the book?

I loved the book...If there is one book of GGM that is most hated it would be more 100 years of solitude than this one.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

A total snore with silly, unlikeable characters.


Angel / YA rules!/ i love this book. it was sad, but that's what i like in a book. that despite what i was feeling it can transport me to the time and era and i can somehow witness how the different characters lived their lives. this book made me question myself on how i would behave in a similar situation. if i would somehow be brave enough to go through life, if it were my life.


Tabata Melanie wrote: "I like Allende but she is a bit lightweight. Marquez describes human beings and their beauty - the doe's gait, their frailty, their guilt - when Juvenal feels his abdominal organs every night looki..."

I agree. In order to understand magic realism you have to deep into the Latin culture. What happens with GGM is not about the story itself but the description of the characters and how do they feel about each other and their environment.

Though the first time I read it I was 15 and I thought it was the greatest romantic story of all, ten years later I found that Florentino was a very obsessive man with a peculiar point of view. A hundred years of solitude is way much better


message 25: by Marcelo (last edited Aug 05, 2011 12:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcelo OK, I am going to have to disagree here with the simplification in many comments on these forums dealing with GGM that chalk up certain traits of his writing up to "Latin culture" or "Latin American symbolism". There is absolutely no such thing, the same way that there is not a Latin American aesthetic - although there might be some traits in Latin culture (such as the central tenet of family) that do inform certain choices each author makes when writing about his / her culture. GGM's aesthetic is his own - and is as Latin American as that of Borges, or Rulfo, or Vargas Llosa, or Cortazar, or Bolano, or Fuguet (all very different to GGM and to each other); and as informed and more akin to other influences - such as a certain tropical sense of the absurdity and small scale of the human experience in the face of an ever present assault from Nature - as that of Rushdie, or Kunzru, or Daniel Wallace ("Big Fish"). GGM is his own system - take him as such.

Glad that's off my chest (whew!). As far as the novel itself, I do love it. GGM has time and again said that "readers should not fall into his trap", understood as a warning that we are not to simplify this as a great love story overcoming all obstacles, but rather as a depiction of the power of obsessive love (and more specifically, the eternization of the concept of unilaterally being "in love"), in and of itself as confusing, and ultimately damaging and incapacitating when extended to extremes as any other sickness, such as cholera. It is clear that Florentino's life, centered on an ideal object of "love" fixed in his youth, has left him unable to actually make lasting connections to others outside the center of his obsession - hence the many lovers with whom he shares sex and nothing else, the treatment of America, his uncaring declaration of love to Fermina at the funeral, etc. Florentino can rationalize his behavior and gain acceptance from the reader by referring back to his never-ending, abstract "love" of Fermina, and part of the point is how much we, as readers, are able to forgive even the most uncaring actions when faced with the concept of "love". Do the actions match the words, and does "love" as an ideal, above all else and in no relation to other feelings and values, resist examination? Hardly so. Even in the end, when Florentino finally wins Fermina over, their love will only survive in an enclosed space, forever moving and not settling on a destination (the ship travelling up and down the river forever, with the yellow cholera flag raised), and therefore not open to examination by the outside world - because, as Fermina knows all too well as she decides to go along with it, when it is examined by others not under its spell the dream of this "love" in the overall scheme of things is likely to come apart at the seams.


message 26: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben American Philistinism at its finest.


Michael Well, let's just say that this book is not for the Halequin Romance book club people.
If you do nothing more than see/feel the images and emotion that GGM imparts with his beautiful writing you could be satisfied even if you didn't ike the story.
I personally had my breathing affected just reading his beautiful prose.


message 28: by Will (new) - rated it 3 stars

Will Conley Love in the Time of Cholera is potatoes. Plenty good for you.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is meat, potatoes, vegetables, sauces and spices, dessert, an open bar, and six hits of acid.

Guess which one bores me and which one I call my favorite book of all time.


message 29: by Hiba (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hiba Interesting article I found about gripping first and last lines of this novel!

http://asolitarypassion.blogspot.com/...


message 30: by Jess (new) - rated it 1 star

Jess interesting as if I just read the first and last lines of that book on the back cover, I would have run out and bought a copy of that immediately. Even now, reading the first and last lines, they're fabulous. It's just all the crap in between that make this book one of the most woeful and torturous books I have ever read.


message 31: by Jess (new) - rated it 1 star

Jess REDD wrote: "Jess wrote: "we just read this at book club and I have never seen so many people hate one book so much. I was told it was a must read and a literary classic but i too have never hated a book so mu..."

apologies for the late repsonse - the writing annoyed the hell out of most. as well as the characters and some of the plots - he was sleeping with a child in his care of about 13, I mean - horrible people!!


message 32: by REDD (last edited Sep 02, 2011 07:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

REDD Jess wrote: "REDD wrote: "Jess wrote: "we just read this at book club and I have never seen so many people hate one book so much. I was told it was a must read and a literary classic but i too have never hated..."

The sleeping with the 13 year old is definitely horrible. But didnt your group even think about the fact that this was in a Latin American country ...you can't always base your opinions on what you think the West would/should say/dictate... that is just too one-sided and narrow minded.

Cleopatra married her cousin...that too is horrible but people are ranting about Cleopatra....lol

just my two cents.

off topic: I wonder what "Western" people in book clubs says about the book THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER....lol


message 33: by REDD (new) - rated it 5 stars

REDD Off topic: There is a certain age group that can enjoy Shakespeare or the Classics.....so I guess with this GGM work.

Ever tried reading Shakespeare again or the Classics and notice how you have a deeper insight of the story and the moral/s?


Francisco I think you missed the point of the book. You have to read it considering the context in which it develops and the impossibility of a love that could have been. It is not so different to many other contemporary books, but the importance of it lies in the depth of the characters, characters that are drawn with such passion and simplicity that make you wonder if they couldn't be your elderly neighbors, harboring feelings that seem so close and yet so distant from their reach.

You are entitled to your opinions, of course, but it is my belief that every book deserves a chance, a true chance, to reach you. And to truly reach many considerations must be made about the story and about the plausibility of it.


message 35: by Lori (new) - rated it 1 star

Lori Marcelo wrote: "OK, I am going to have to disagree here with the simplification in many comments on these forums dealing with GGM that chalk up certain traits of his writing up to "Latin culture" or "Latin America..."

Your observations on the characters and the aspect of "love" in the book are spot on. I think it would've been a much better book had I not gone into it with the notion that it was, in fact, a love story. However, I must say that I felt the endless descriptions were dry and dull to me, which I think may have been the point.


Danyellemastro I tried to read it on honeymoon, and everytime I read a page, I put it down again. All I really felt I took away from the experience was a sore jaw from gritting my teeth!


Maria Me encanto el libro y adoro la pelicula. El amor a travez del tiempo, claro que existe! Ahi esta la mejor pruba. Lo recomiendo!


message 38: by Esther (last edited Sep 18, 2011 10:20AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Esther I did think some of the language was beautiful especially when describing the landscape.

I wish it had all been about the landscape as I thoroughly disliked almost all the characters. Spoilt rich people with little concern for those around them who inflated their petty little dislikes into extended arguments or a callous sex-addicted stalker who mistook compulsive obssesion for love.

As I read on I actually found this book offensive and I began to feel sullied by reading it. Basically the main 'romantic' character is a pedophile and takes advantage of a child who is supposed to be in his care, leading to disastrous results.

***spoiler**
And then the end was a total cop out in that they were all so proud of their love they hid on a boat and pretended to be sick with cholera!


Maria yes, I love the book!


message 40: by Kelly (new) - rated it 1 star

Kelly Berg Jess wrote: "we just read this at book club and I have never seen so many people hate one book so much. I was told it was a must read and a literary classic but i too have never hated a book so much! Anyone e..."

Agreed..my book club uses this book at the benchmark for how bad other books are


message 41: by Abet (new) - rated it 5 stars

Abet Megan wrote: "Of the two, I enjoyed 100 Years of Solitude a lot more than Love in the Time of Cholera, although I liked both, and neither entirely blew me away.

I think the magical realism is more developed in..."<

Although Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a known magical realist author, I think he hadn't used it in his Love in the Time of Cholera unlike in his One Hundred Years of Solitude.



Christos Tsotsos QueenAmidala28 wrote: " May I suggest Allende or Cohelo for Latin writers . . .
"


Allende is a good writer and Coelho is rubbish and both are far inferior to Marquez.
I would recomend Jorge Lui Borges (although i hate the bastard), Juan Carlos Onetti, Adolfo Casares... definitely not Coelho he is a below avarage thinker and his books are nicely promoted turds dressed in fancy colours of superficial ideas and mysticism (and if he walks into my local I will scream at him 'Oi Paulo, Nooooo!' and then I will confront him for the Alchemist and other crap he produced using paper and ink).

Love in the time of Cholera is in my opinion an excellent book although not as good as my personal favourites which are:

'Leaf storm', 'Chronicle of a death foretold', '100 years of solitude', and of course what I consider to be the Gabo's best book 'No one writes to the colonel'.

If a book club uses Love in the time of the Cholera as a benchmark for bad books, I would seriously consider to turn around and run, change name, leave the country, work as a prostitute in Santo Domingo and eat bread made with wet sand and sugar until my kidneys and various intestines fail and I hemorrhage slowly and painfully to death than meet with them ever again.

Sounds like the book club that will dedicate a month to Felice Leonardo "Leo" Buscaglia and might make you to love your mass-murdering partner (Mrs Asma al-Akhras) because love is to accept one another with their mistakes and their mistakes are as lovable as they are and their smelly shocks are too or picking their nose in public that is way too lovable love love.


Sofia My favorite book by GGM is Chronicle of a death foretold and I agree with Emmanuel, I prefer his shorter books. But I also genuinely enjoyed Love in the time of Cholera. It just goes slower...

I saw in some people's comments references to Isabel Allende, I also love her. She's a magnificent author!


Marcelo Esther wrote: "I did think some of the language was beautiful especially when describing the landscape.

I wish it had all been about the landscape as I thoroughly disliked almost all the characters. Spoilt rich ..."


Hi Esther, I think you misread the book. See my comment before in this thread. A lot of the things that you complain about feeling are exactly the intended response. Again, there's a trap in this book, as it is not intended as a parable of love to be held up and admired, but rather an examination of misdirected or idealized love (experienced from different angles, and different people) as a crippling, alienating (hence the boatride for eternity) and destructive force.

Cheers,
Marcelo


Vanessa Wow I adored this book. Definitely one of my all time favorites!


Pooja I thought it was nice overall, didn't blow me away, but it was interesting enough and the language was lovely. Didn't like the characters at all though, but that might have been the point as someone else said.


message 47: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Are you nuts? This book was amazing! That being said, l totally understand where you're coming from. Just because something is deemed a classic, doesn't actually make it good. Ever tried to sit down and read 'Mody Dick?' After "Call me lshmael" that thing is unreadable. Don't ever feel bad or feel like you have to apologize for not liking a 'classic.' I loathe everything Jane Austen ever wrote and totally get flack for it everytime l say that in front of women.


message 48: by Kara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kara If you thought the book was bad, try the movie. It was appalling.

I actually quite liked the book but not as much as I had expected to. I thought I didn't like it when I first finished, but I found myself thinking about it and the people in it long after I was done. To me, that's the mark of an impactful book.


Ashley Smith I really did not like this book at all. I thought it would be wonderful just from other review's I had heard about it. It was long and drawn out! I had a very hard time reading and found myself falling asleep when trying to. I finished it but will never ever in a million year's read this book again!!!


Pooja Ashley wrote: "I really did not like this book at all. I thought it would be wonderful just from other review's I had heard about it. It was long and drawn out! I had a very hard time reading and found myself fal..."

I agree with you on how much it was drawn-out! The language made it bearable, but it took me a good month or so to get through it because it just got repetitive in places.

This was my first Marquez book, and I have a 100 years of Solitude on my bookshelf to read but I'm a little apprenhensive of starting it now.


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