Literary Review - One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabríel García Márquez

Author:  Gabriel García Márquez
Work:  One Hundred Years of Solitude
Translated from Spanish by:  Gregory Rabassa
Edition:  Penguin Books, 2007


My copy of the book.
I started the first chapter in January this year. I had every intention to finish it in a month. Having majored in literature throughout my academic career it seemed to be an amble time to give myself.

However, six months later, just after midnight on July 6 2013, I closed the final chapter.

The only excuse I can offer for taking so long is the way it made me feel, the way I didn't really want to let it go - there was so much to take in and learn from the story and the author. Sometimes I'd start a few chapters back because I needed to re-affirm in my mind the complicated plot and re-identify the many Aurelianos and José Arcadios.

It's rare to be so moved by a novel as I was by One Hundred Years of Solitude. It's an epic novel that despite its surrealism touches upon sociological realism of how industrialisation and colonialism even found a way to the most remote corner of the world; how the wheels of time never stop turning no matter how much we desire to freeze time and bring back a simpler past.

The characters, their interactions and eventual fate may seem strange in the eyes of the modern reader -sometimes even crude. The threads of mysticism, isolation, religion, love, hate, passion and honour weave together the plot and the epic story. For the reader, the cobweb that is the novel, creates a sense of urgency to keep reading, yet simultaneously to momentarily stop, and read again the same pages to take in the beautiful storytelling and to simply contemplate.

After reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, it's easy to understand why critics have been so generous of flattery in their reviews since its first publication in 1967. 

A masterpiece it is, and life is simply more beautiful after the reading.


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