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One Hundred Years of Solitude [Paperback]

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

2 Aug 2007
'Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.' Pipes and kettledrums herald the arrival of gypsies on their annual visit to Macondo, the newly founded village where Jose Arcadio Buendia and his strong-willed wife, Ursula, have started their new life. As the mysterious Melquiades excites Aureliano Buendia's father with new inventions and tales of adventure, neither can know the significance of the indecipherable manuscript that the old gypsy passes into their hands. Through plagues of insomnia, civil war, hauntings and vendettas, the many tribulations of the Buendia household push memories of the manuscript aside. Few remember its existence and only one will discover the hidden message that it holds...This new edition of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's most celebrated novel is published to coincide with celebrations to mark the 80th birthday of this Nobel Prize winning author in 2007.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude + Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez 2014) + The House Of The Spirits
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (2 Aug 2007)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 014103243X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141032436
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


No lover of fiction can fail to respond to the grace of Márquez's writing (Sunday Telegraph)

It's the most magical book I have ever read... I think [Márquez] has influenced the world (Caroline Herrera)

The book that sort of saved my life (Emma Thompson)

It's so much fun to read, unexpected and beautiful (Darryl Hannah)

The greatest novel in any language of the last 50 years (Salman Rushdie)

Should be required reading for the entire human race (New York Times)

About the Author

Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927- ) was born in Aracataca, Colombia. His most recent book, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, is his first new novel to be published in a decade and is available in paperback from Penguin from August 2007. He is the author of several novels and collections of short stories, including Leaf Storm (1955); One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967); The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975); Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) and The General in His Labyrinth (1989). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

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Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, magical and eloquent 29 Jan 2003
This has to be the book that best encapsulates the true meaning of the magical realism school of literature. Although Marquez's world is steeped in strange, mythical images and happenings the "realness" of its people and issues makes the surreal seem logical in a way that should not work- but it does. The mixture of reality and surrealism feels dream-like in scope.
OHYOS is the kind of story that has to be read more than once to get the full amount of understanding from it- details from the beginning are important at the end. This may be especially be true if, like me, find the dense, rich language difficult to get into for a few chapters. The writing is so rich, in fact, that a huge amount of action can take place in the space of a few pages. This can be a hindrance at first but when you start to enjoy Marquez's words then you realise how beautiful a novel can be.
There is also much meaning behind the story line. The evolvement of the family shows a move from traditional to modern in the wider world although the time the novel is set is never shown (or needed to be).
There is much sadness in OHYOS to match the magic and dreaminess. If you like happy endings and glosses over deaths than this might not be suitable reading for you. For everyone else though I would highly recommend OHYOS- it is well worth the effort needed to place yourself in Marquez's world.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Looking Glass Trip Through History 16 Feb 2009
This is not your typical novel. It's difficult, confusing, strongly metaphorical, and far more concerned with history and message than any deep look at its characters. At the same time, it is sometimes lyrical, beautiful, inventive, and given to unexpected trips to the magical, just when it seems bogged down in a very harsh reality.

It's the story of the town of Macondo and the family that help found the town, stretched over the hundred years of the title. It's clear, when you step back from the details of this work, that the entire work is a metaphor for what happened to Columbia, from its early run-in with the Spanish invaders through the exploitive actions of companies out to rip the riches from the country with no regard for the human cost of their endeavors, and on into to the modern day world of political corruption backed by barely sheathed threats of force.

The family that the book follows is unique in many ways, peopled by characters both incredibly strong and driven by obsessions, and yet insular, separated from the real world by their own internal fantasies. Here we find the rebel hero and the dominating matron side by side with ghosts, the Wandering Jew, and highly mysterious gypsies. However, all of these characters are seen from a distance, even though we are privy to their internal thoughts and ideas, and it is difficult to get emotionally involved with any of them. Not helping in this regard is the extreme similarity of names through various generations of the family, and frequent references to the genealogical chart at the beginning of the book are necessary to try and keep everything straight.

Stylistically, be prepared for page long sentences and sudden multi-page discourses not immediately connected to current happenings.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius 4 Feb 2004
Simply: This book is wonderful! This book is that rare thing, a work of genius. It's not the most easy of reads but it's very rewarding. He takes you though 100 years of life. Sometimes people live and die with in the space of a chapter! After reading 100 years worth of life you reach the end of the book, Then... wow. I think, even more than reading it, the after-taste of the book is something astounding. I think this book will stay with me for the rest of my days. I can't say that about many books.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Singularly Frustrating and wonderful 26 Jun 2010
Honestly I was half-way through this book and was prepared at that moment to consign it to the pile of worthy books I have started but never finished. But a long train journey found me with no other literature and hours stretching beyond me, so out it came and suddenly, unexpectedly I found it finished before me.

For the first half of the book I had been mystified by the swirling mess of characters and the magical realism elements that at first annoyed me. But as I passed the half way mark and the modern world encroached on Moncado the atmosphere of magic faded, the creeping hand of death and dissolution becoming stronger as the Buendia family passed away.

It was the moment of realisation of this change that made me persevere with the book to the end. Suddenly the tone of the first half made sense as if history was a more magical place than more recent times. Indeed the past in the book is something that leaves an almost physical mark on a place so that even as the vagaries of modernity are introduced, they are inevitably rejected by nature just as it seems Macondo will eventually be reclaimed by the jungle.

The sheer scope of some of the writing is what make it attractive. I am by no means condoning the poor quality of the characterisation, and the entirely pretentious tone. But sometimes, just often enough, a piece of writing in the text is so concise and so beautifully weighted that you can almost forgive GGM.

So for heaven's sake, if you are struggling with this book, don't dismiss it as worthless. It's by no means perfect, but consider its structure as a collection of sublime moments surrounded by the less than brilliant, much like life it seems.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic read.
García Márquez weaves together an interesting story with memorable characters. One of the finest examples of Colombian literature and a fantastic English translation.
Published 10 hours ago by Fabelhafter Schneckensaft
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites
I really like it and I found it very useful for my personal interests in literature. It comes as it is described, so very satisfactory.
Published 10 days ago by sandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
Beautiful book, entertaining, fun, and emotional, gets your head inside a new fantasy world like I've never read before, 10/10 would recommend.
Published 11 days ago by Paula
2.0 out of 5 stars Book
Couldn't get to grips with this book despite reading the first 100 pages. Whilst it is considered a classic it is beyond the bounds of entertainment for me.
Published 2 months ago by Ted Sloan
4.0 out of 5 stars One Hundred Years of Solitude
Bought this book for my wife and haven't yet read it myself. Waiting for the thumbs up from 'the boss' before I pass judgment.
Published 3 months ago by J. M. Maden
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor with no clear purpose
Whilst this book, famous in literary circles, does have some good word play, coupled with some small moments of lucidity, it never captured any interest for me. Read more
Published 3 months ago by TS
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
What can I said? I just adore this book, I read in spanish like 6 times and now in english. Is just a magic book, one of the best book ever written.
Published 3 months ago by Nerea
1.0 out of 5 stars Exausting
I do not know what is happening! I cant seem to follow the story/characters at all. I find myself having to keep going backwards and forwards just to make sense of the basics!
Published 5 months ago by Ascera
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating
Fab book cant stop reading it. Easy to follow but extremely captivating would recommend. You can easily immerse yourself into the story and be very sad once finished
Published 8 months ago by Dr Fiona Stainsby
3.0 out of 5 stars The bitter bananas of magical realism
Good grief, I thought, how can my fellow Amazon reviewers be so dim? How could they so utterly not get what an amazing piece of work is One Hundred Years of Solitude? Read more
Published 11 months ago by Caroline Galwey
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