If read slowly and with great attention, this will be one of the best books you've ever read. If you are in the mood for a fast and fun book, put this one down and choose something else. This book will not be enjoyed if read one or two pages here, one or two pages there. It requires time and dedication, but the pay-off is great. When things get slow in the middle, find encouragement that the last 50 pages are worth the wait.
Very different, interesting...though a difficult read. I was glad they had a family tree in the front since most of the men in the book shared the same names. Fantasy-type story of a family in Mexico, with characters that live over 150 years, live tied to trees, and survive firing squads. Not the book if you're looking for an easy, quick read.
I read it for a book club and even though I was too fond of the book a lot of people actually liked it. It uses a lot of fantasy elements and symbolism. The book spans over 4 generations and the similarities in so many of their names makes the book a little confusing but the family map in the beginning of the novel really helps out. It is a little bizzare but it does make for an interesting fantasy read.
This is a story about the rise and fall and birth and death of a town. It is told, through the eyes and history of one family. It is inventive, sad, amusing and the characters are quite unforgettable. It has been said, about this book, that is should be "required reading for the entire human race."
It is a savage description of all that is meaningful and meaningless in life.
At first I couldn't get into it. I read a couple hundred pages and then stopped.. confused by so many names like the book of Genesis. However, some friends urged me to continue reading and I am so happy they did. This has become one of my favorite books and Garcia Marquez has definitely become one of my favorite authors. I've grown to enjoy his outlandish stories told in such a matter-of-fact tone. This book is all about the big picture (and is quite possibly enjoyed more in hindsight)... filled with stories of muted, yet colorful lives.
This book was interesting. Garcia Marquez has a very distinctive voice and I liked the allusions to Latin American literature, the magical realism and how Garcia Marquez so eloquently puts the meaning of life into his novel. That being said, it was also a little long winded, despite the course of the novel being over 150 years and his naming system was very confusing. I realize his point that the family was running in continuous cycles that they couldn't break out of, but I had a really hard time keeping the men straight and when I have to refer to a chart it ruins the magic for me. However if you are looking for a book that you can chew over and can provide interesting points, not a beach read, but a piece of art, than 100 Years of Solitude is an amazing book.
I was bitterly disappointed by this book. I thought it was going to enlighten me on the nature of loneliness or solitude. I read about 100 pages and didn't really see any rhyme or reason to anything that happened. I think magical realism is totally over my head and aside from that, there didn't seem to be much of a story. Maybe I am not smart enough to understand a book like this? Sure the sentences were beautiful, but it seemed like sentence salad to me.
This was a great book. I just finished it and it really stays with you. At first, I was a little hesistant to read it becuase it has such a big reputation. However, that reputation is well deserved. It's a classic that everyone should read. Plus, it is not a difficult read at all.
Marquez has written a fascinating tale about generations of the same family while marrying, loving, murdering and dying, about war and about fantastic surreal happenings - all happening in a surreal village in South America. I would suggest, however, to keep the names of the characters straight as it can get confusing (there is a chart in the front of my edition)! This book reminds me of Paul Coehlo and if you liked THE ALHEMIST this will be up your alley. This is the first Marquez book I have read and I will definitely be reading more.
I got about 100 pages in and quit the book. There was little of interest to me. I saw little character development, little imaginative imagery, and little to maintain my interest. It read more like a town history than literature.
Steeped in magical realism, the saga of the family Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula Iguarian is woven with village life through the mythical town of Macondo which they founded in a swampy, isolated area. Garcia Marquez eloquently defines the meaning of life interweaving it with cultural beliefs and everyday family life. The author's writing style is based on the way his grandmother told stories during his childhood. One of the most memorable characters is Colonel Aureliano Buendia whose zest for war culminates always in battle defeats yet he is highly respected by his men and peers. Time and time again he avoids death, living a full life and fathering 17 sons named Aureliano. Ursula, Jose's wife, lives a long life though she loses her sight managing to conceal this fact from family members. She warns of babies born with a pig's tale when family members fall in love with other family members. A man named Melquiades appears again and again to family members stimulating experiments and scientific exploration which is sometimes based on fact and sometimes not and summarize the family story. As the years pass the isolation of the town diminishes and family members travel and become acquainted with the progress of the world around them. It's a most interesting read.
Barrett H. reviewed One Hundred Years of Solitude on
While the book was interesting to read, it was very confusing due to a lot of the characters having similar names and too many being talked about at the same time. I wish that I had read this as part of a class, I think that I would've gotten a lot more out of it! I guess reading along with Cliffnotes or something would be helpful just to keep everything straight.
Denise D. reviewed One Hundred Years of Solitude on
This is an interesting story that I feel could have been told with about half the meandering. It just took forever to get anywhere, and there was a lot of useless information along the way. I expected more from a Pulitzer Prize winning book.
Originally published in the 1960′s in the Spanish language with the title Cien Anos del Soledad, Marquez recounts the rise and fall of the mythic town of Macondo, and with it, the line of Buendia family. The story follows Jose Arcadio Buendia, the patriarch of the Buendia clan and his wife into the swamps to build a town and a family, and their struggle to keep the town going while avoiding the tendency of their familys children to be born with pigs tails. Periodic visits by bands of gypsys early in the story incite creativity and madness in the towns forefather. The madness continues to consume the family one by one, and we follow all the different tastes of solitude that plague the Buendias, down to the last Aureliano, who becomes the first -and last- to decipher the parchments of the immortal gypsy Melquiades.
Early on in the story, it becomes clear that the fabric of the story is of the whimsical sort. However, Marquez tells the wild tale in a completely natural voice, as though the book merely told the story of why the sky is blue. Initially this style of writing threw me for a bit of a loop, but once I got used to it, I came to see that the writing style absolutely makes this story.
The unfortunate point of the book is the familys penchant for recycling names. At first I wondered why Jose Arcadio Buendia was always called by his full name, but as the story wore on I discovered that it was to keep the reader from going insane trying to track all the Jose Arcadios and Aurelianos (of which there end up being roughly 20)! Even with the trick of using different combinations of first, middle and last names and nicknames, I still found myself wondering which who was what at times. All this aside, I found the book a very interesting and amusing read. Ive seen this book listed as one of the 1001 books to read before you die and Id have to say I agree with that judgement.
Different edition...so it has a different cover. As for the book, I loved it...so much so that I have now read everything else he has written. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest writers of the 20th century...he is. This is a masterpiece.
It is typical of Gabriel García Márquez that it will be many pages before his narrative circles back to the ice, and many chapters before the hero of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Buendía, stands before the firing squad. In between, he recounts such wonders as an entire town struck with insomnia, a woman who ascends to heaven while hanging laundry, and a suicide that defies the laws of physics
One Hundred Years of Solitude is perhaps the most important landmark of the so-called 'Boom' in contemporary Latin American fiction. Published in 1967, the novel was an instant success, running to hundreds of editions, winning four international prizes, and being translated into 27 languages. In 1982, its author received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Michael Wood places the novel in the context of modern Colombia's violent history, and helps the reader to explore the rich and complex vision of the world which Garcia Marquez presents in it.
This book tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. Marquez was one of the finest writers of our time and he was a master of weaving characters and plot in order to show the realistic side of life. The hard part of reading this book is keeping track of the people in the different 100-year plots with all the same last names as it is a story of the same family. 100 Years of Solitude is a must-read for anyone interested in magical realism and the beauty of South American literature.
I could not even get through the first few pages. I then read the synopsis on the back. Realizing that I was reading a story that began at the end of Genesis was too much. that part of the Bible is hard enough to get through, I don't need a continuation.
I found this book tough going, and was not as enthusiastic as Oprah Was. The following, however, is a review from Amazon.com
"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."
It is typical of Gabriel García Márquez that it will be many pages before his narrative circles back to the ice, and many chapters before the hero of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Buendía, stands before the firing squad. In between, he recounts such wonders as an entire town struck with insomnia, a woman who ascends to heaven while hanging laundry, and a suicide that defies the laws of physics:
A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta's chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.
"Holy Mother of God!" Úrsula shouted.
The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women--the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, Úrsula, is so moved that "the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house."
With One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez introduced Latin American literature to a world-wide readership. Translated into more than two dozen languages, his brilliant novel of love and loss in Macondo stands at the apex of 20th-century literature.