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One Hundred Years of Solitude

A book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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One Hundred Years of mishmash.

  • Jun 28, 2010

This book is full of classic English metaphors. While a rich source of allusions, mystical language, spiritual connections, and, of course, the English professor’s heyday of metaphors, this book proves confusing and a not-enjoyable-at-all-read.


While One Hundred Years of Solitude is destined for a spot in the Canon, readers beware the nature of this novel. Spanning one family’s generations over 100 years, this book begins to break down when you realize that most of the family members are named the same name, and generation gaps do not apply to help you figure out who is doing what when the characters return as ghosts, apparitions, and live for nearly the entire 100 years.


Another turn-off point is the fact that this family’s story does not inspire the reader to connect with their own lives. The setting, time period, and general lack of focus and organization make these people unreal, or part of some alternative reality. I know that some readers enjoy this type of story, but so many times the internal “revelations” of a character-based novel reveal to make the reader repulsed rather than connected to the thinker.


Overall, this novel is terrible, and only read by those who think that because of the heavy requirements of decoding this book is the true pinnacle of English texts. College students beware – this novel is read in nearly every college and university in some class. Do yourself a favor and read the cliff-notes online.

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July 20, 2010
I think you missed the point of the novel. The repetition of names and events is part of the plot and is key to understanding the novel. Furthermore, although some critics and literature professors from the old school discourage historical readings of fictional texts (one of the pitfalls of rigid formalism), the extra-textual knowledge necessary to understand this novel (a heavy dose of Latin American history) is extremely important and greatly enriches the overall interpretation of the novel. It is true that García Márquez does go back in forth in time, but once again, this circularity is part of the novel's interpretive structure and should be relished as a way to challenge readers--especially college students--who are used to being spoon-fed the narrative (we can think of the Twilight series or any young adult fiction these days). As far as the metaphors and unreadability, I suggest you try reading it in Spanish, as translations do not always accurately reflect the original; the poor language choice is more likely the translator's fault than the original author. The novel is rich, powerful, and tragic and I think most people can relate to it, if only for the fact that we see an example of how not to live your life: isolated from human existence and trapped in an endless cycle of violence. It is a life-affirming book and García Márquez has created a masterful work of prose fiction that will stand the test of time.
June 28, 2010
Interesting review! I don't hear too many negative reviews on this book, so it was great to see your perspective about it!
More One Hundred Years of Solitude reviews
review by . July 09, 2010
A dreamy experience of strange love and a families tail.  Captivating from the beginning, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of those writers who penetrates a persons sensuality and makes one question logical love.  If you look into your own family history, you just might find the desperate, the insane, the genius, the beautiful and intriguing.  The family in this tail has it all.      I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Gabriel Garcia Marquez- this is his best!  …
review by . July 02, 2010
One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of six generations of the Buendía family and the fictional town of Macondo. Jose Arcadio Buendía founds the town with his wife Ursula after crossing the Andes Mountains running from the law. He settles with about twenty other families and starts up a new life. The town is cut off from society and clings to old customs in the face of new technology brought by a troop of gypsies, led by Melquíades. As the years progress, new technologies …
review by . June 17, 2010
Marquez is a master in weaving this complex, at times disorienting, timeline of a century of family history. I discovered this novel by chance at a used book store. I didn’t know Marquez’s writing, and had no idea what I had stumbled upon. Even in translation (to English) his use of language is mesmerizing.  It is not such an easy read to start, and it does take time to settle into the style of writing. At first confusing, some persistence pays off. Letting go and giving into the …
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
Definitely pick this book up if you get the chance. Marquez has a great, unique writing style.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
My #1 favorite book of all time. Read it in the summer when weather is hot and sweaty.
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
I really enjoyed this book. Maquez has basically created a whole new genre, where magic is an unquestioned part of life. I recommend.
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
Love Garcia Marquez!! Such a magical tale!
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
Excellent read!
review by . June 28, 2010
This work can only be the product of a mind in an extremely imaginative state. Gabriel Marquez blends the real and the surreal to weave a fantastic tale around the town of Macondo and the Buendia family starting with Jose Arcadio Buendia, the patriarch characterized by his entrepreneurial zeal and scientific spirit who, among other explorations, attempts to use a daguerreotype to disprove the existence of God and all the way to Aureliano who is finally seen deciphering parchments. In between you …
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
Brilliant epic story spanning several generations.
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About this book


"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 ...

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