Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book 19-One Hundred Years of Solitude

Meh...so here is my book review for One Hundred Years of Solitude. As you can tell by the start of this review this book did not inspire me. I liked it, I read it pretty quickly, but I have absolutely no passion for this book and therefore I have had little motivation to finish this review. I was also holding off on publishing it becuase I was slowing down the pace of the book reviews for my Goodreads book group The Novel 100. I was trying to keep it to a book a month although I am a super fast reader. Feel free to join my group and Goodreads if you love reading, in particular classic novels.....anyways, back to the book. One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of the classic examples of magic realism a genre where fantastic events are described as a part of everyday life I LOVE that genre, but this book took it too far for me. The magical events in this book are not used for a a purpose to convey a meaning or express the authors thoughts on something they are just strange events captures as though they were real. This book is by a South American author Gabriel Garcia Marquez so maybe the book just didn't touch me because it was so far out of the realm of my everyday existence.Not sure what it was, but the talk of family relatives being taken up into the sky and never seen again, a beloved who is preceeded by butterflys whereever he went (actually that was pretty AWESOME actually) and a fantastic journey that a member of the family takes where every one gets shot and taken out of town by train but NOBODY in the entire town remembers it happening are a bit mcuh for me. That being said I read this book quite fast because it was an interesting story and an easy read. The book follows 100 years of the Buendia family with its various Aurelianos Arcadios. If there is a point to this story it is just that we are often alone in solitude, even when we are connected to family and friends. In that way this book is rather sad. As people married, had children and grew, a cycle in the family repeated itself and everyone essentially ended up alone (and some rather tragically). If there weren't a few times in the book where it specifically mentioned the connection to solitude and aloneness I might have missed that it was indeed the point of the book however. Here are a few of the quotes that I liked: "A person does not belong to a place until there is someone dead under the ground" "Death really did not matter to him but life did" "The search for lost things is hindered by routine habits and that is why it is so difficult to find them" "Both actions had been a mortal struggle between a measureless love and an invincible cowardice and that the irrational fear Amaranta had always had of her own tormented heart trimphed in the end" "She became human in her solitude" Although the book primarily focuses on the various Arcadio's and Aurelianos that the Buendia family creates and passes down through the generations the females in the stories are possibly more tragic than the males. Amaranta mentioned in the quote above was a tragic female who had attracted the love of two men in her life time, but due to her fierce pride would not consent to marry them (one because he chose her sister first). So with all that I would simply say that this book is an engaging read, but not a life changing one for me. It is enjoyable, and I am glad that I now know what everyone is talking about, but beyond that I can't say I am a better person for having read it. I am not even sure I would recommend it to anyone. The next book on the list is The Great Gatsby which I have already read, but may check out again either by movie or audio book to remember what I thought of it before doing a review. The next book I am reading book 21 is To The Lighthouse by Virgina Woolf.

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