I finally finished “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and even though I quite enjoyed it, I have mixed feelings about it in all.
My cousin, who is also a book-maniac like myself, is very fond of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and she said that he is a great author, but still, she didn’t really like this book in particular. And before reading it, I’ve gone through some reviews to know what I’m up against and what I found was that a lot of people liked it, but also a lot hated it. So I didn’t really know what to expect. Also, one person said that the plot of a book seems like a really weird dream from which you just woke up. And I think I agree with him the most.
The story at places is really captivating, for instance the beginning and the ending. I was really fascinated when reading the first chapters and I felt that I’m really going to love this book, but then the plot became more complicated 😀
Anyway, the book tells the story of the town of Macondo, from its founding until its destruction and presents the life of the Buendia family, one of the founding families, over a period of a hundred years.
At first that town is a really peaceful and magical place, where the gypsies would have fairs and present their mystical merchandise. What I liked most in this part, and I guess throughout the book, was that magic was presented as if it were part of reality and not something supernatural.
But as usual, a place a like Macondo can’t stay in such a perfect state without any consequences, now can it? So the state sent people to become the authorities of the town and organize the election. And because the election didn’t go so smoothly, it ended in a war between the Conservatives and the Liberals.
In the following chapters, we see how the war has its way with the Buendia family, how it turns their lives into tragedy even when the war is over. The family members have also an issue with falling in love with other members of the family, which leads to other unlucky events. But the main thing about this family is that almost no one can seem to find happiness and they’re left with their hearts sunken into sadness, grief, envy and most importantly, a devastating solitude.
What was interesting in this book was the way how each family member affected the destiny of the others, and how everything seemed to fall apart gradually from the beautiful beginning of when they arrived in Macondo, lead by the idea of a dream.
What I didn’t like, on the other hand, was that the writing was a bit foggy, and at times I didn’t know what was going on. And the fact that a lot of characters had the same name didn’t help with my confusion. And the style in places was, indeed, a bit boring and a few times I even thought that I am never going to finish this book. But the instant that I did, I felt amazed and I realized that I did like it, because the message did get through somehow. And the fact that the ending was pretty awesome did help with me thinking that 😀
So I guess I would recommend it, but beware, you will need a lot of patience and it is not an easy read, but worth it, I guess, in the end. I already miss its magic 😀
Anyway, if you want to read it online, you can find it here: One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Next time I’ll be talking about Rejtő Jenő’s “The 14-carat Roadster”.
Until then, have a nice day and a nice read 🙂