Love in the Time of Cholera Author:Gabriel Garcia Marquez The cover is the same as the hardcover edition, but it is a paperback; a large cream book with golden letters and a shadowy portrait of a caped figure.
What a waste of a month of my free time.
I'd have finished it sooner but it was a chore.
Newsweek called it "A love story of astonishing power." I call it one long old man's fantasy dreamlife and nothing more.
This is not a page turner but rather a work of art that must be analyzed and dissected slowly in order to benefit fully from its contents. Marquez must be read on several different levels in order to fully appreciate what it is that he is trying to say. The whole work is an allegory of love in all of its various forms and fashions. Marquez decides to build the various forms and shapes of love around Florentino Ariza and his "crowned goddess" Fermina Daza during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Not only does Marquez weave the two lives of these characters marvelously throughout the book's 50 or so year time frame in order to critically analyze love or the appearance thereof, but he takes us back to a time and place where social norms prohibited various expressions of the types of love that he explores. The story is not just about love, but life in general and the inevitable aging process that all must go through, and about believing in something so strongly that you will spend your whole life attempting to attain it no matter the cost.
"Love in the Time of Cholera" tells the story of two men and the strong willed woman they both fall in love with, in the process taking us to a different world in a different era, namely the Caribbean at the turn of the century.
All in all, this is a good novel, and I would recommend it
The plot is intriguing though improbable. The language is beautiful, even through translation. The problem is that the story takes forever to unfold. It took determination not to quit.
Fermina, the desired woman, is well drawn out by the author. She seems real and decent. Florentino, on the other hand, is a strange character. Among other things, while "saving himself" for Fermina, he has hundreds of sexual encounters (including many with an underage girl).
By the way, Marquez, seems to have a thing with smell. He frequently, mentions odor, stench, and so forth in his descriptions.
Overall, I would rate this work as good but not great.
After reading the mixed reviews and the blurb on the back cover, I really didn't know if I would be interested in getting through this book. I certainly wasn't interested in the recounting of a man having sex with over 600 women, and happily that wasn't what it turned out to be. Despite generally not liking the characters, I was curious enough about what would happen to them to make it to the end. By the time I did arrive at the end, I found that I felt pretty ambivalent about the story, the characters, and their fates. Despite the beautiful writing, I was easily able to put this book down and come back to it as opposed to devouring it in one or two days. Most people seem to love it or hate and there is only one way to find out which to which camp you will fall...