For this edition of Los Lunes Son Para Libros, I want to talk about 100 Years of Solitude, written by Gabriel García Márquez (GGM). I found this book in the office I work in at my school. I am assuming it had been left behind by the previous volunteer. I picked it up not really knowing what is was and took it home. It sat on a shelf for about a month before I opened it. But when I did, I read over 100 pages in a single sitting. GGM sucks his audience in immediately and makes it really hard to put the book down.
Originally from Colombia, GGM has written his fair share of novels, short stories and novelas. He quickly became famous in literature for his unique writing style, which many have coined ‘magical-realism’. GGM writes in a way that combines seductive and fantastical characters, setting and plot lines with grounding, almost too real, characteristics. The people and places he writes about are just on the verge of being other worldly. He walks this line throughout the book which makes for an entirely fun and sobering read.
GGM works a lot of social critiques into 100 Years of Solitude. His plot line is inspired by motifs of gender dynamics, small-town politics, capitalistic modernization, environmental destruction and warfare. He also forces the reader to think deeply about more romantic and emotional topics such as love, jealousy & betrayal, the inseparability of the present, past and future, the subjectivity of experience reality and the power of knowledge, reading and language. He does all this in an incredibly intelligent way. So intelligently in fact, that there was at least 1 word every 5 pages that I did not know the meaning of or how to pronounce it. And its a long book, so thats a lot of mystery words. Not to mention the fact that I read a translation. If I attempted to read this book in Spanish, I would not have made it past the first chapter.
In general, GGM’s 100 Years of Solitude is a fun, sexy, sad, suspenseful, confusing, addictive and dense thrill ride. Attempting to keep up with his cast of characters is a constant struggle. That, along with his vocabulary, constantly keep the reader on their toes. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a taste of Colombian literature and entertaining story telling.
To help bring some life to this blog post and his book, I am going to stop writing and share photos/quotes I found on someone else’s website. The artwork is brilliant and the quotes that are paired with them do a nice job of depicting GGM’s unique style.