Sunday, September 21, 2008

Book Review Brief: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I joined a new site, thanks to the suggestion of my buddy Mrs. Halsey over at Sanger High School. It's a book site where people can post reviews and list what books they've read, are reading, and plan to read. It's called GoodReads and I just posted my review and am also placing it below.

One Hundred Years of Solitude One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

My review

rating: 1 of 5 stars
I realize I'm in the minority when it comes to this book. It was the winner of the Nobel Prize, an Oprah Book Club selection, and the reviewer from the New York Times Book Review said, "One Hundred Years of Solitude is the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race." People love this book. I didn't get it.

I like to think that I'm somewhat of an astute reader but I just couldn't grasp what the point was. The back cover says it's "brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul."

The only truth I saw in the book was the idea that humans are depraved.

Where is compassion in the book? Was the version I read missing chapters? I saw a lot of deceit and selfishness but very little compassion.

I guess that's in the eye of the beholder. It was bizarre.

And the names--THE NAMES! There were so many characters that it was difficult to keep track. Part of this is my fault; it took too long and too many sessions for me to get through it. If I had read it in a shorter span, it would've helped. But here's a passage from the book and you tell me if this isn't confusing.

Santa Sofia de la Piedad was wandering about in her solitary old age, cooking the little that they ate and almost completely dedicated to the care of Jose Arcadio Segundo. Amaranta Ursula, who had inherited certain attractions of Remedios the Beauty, spent the time that she had formerly wasted tormenting Ursula at her schoolwork, and she began to show good judgment and a dedication to study that brought back to Aureliano Segundo the high hopes that Meme had inspired in him.

And for the record, Amaranta Ursula and Ursula are two different people. Come on dude.

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