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One Hundred Years of Solitude [Paperback]

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
Price: £8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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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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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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All in the family... 4 May 2011
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I first read "One Hundred Years of Solitude" not long after it was first published in English, almost 40 years ago. It was a wonderful, and magically, if you will, introduction to Latin American literature. Subsequently, I've read several other works by Marquez, notably, Love in the Time of Cholera (Vintage International) some 20 years later, but none have quite cast the spell of my first "love," this one, so I figured a re-read was in order. The "magic" of magic realism has lost none of its charm.

The story involves six generations of one family, established by Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula Iguaran, who also helped found the town of Macondo, in the lowlands of Columbia, though the country is never specifically identified. The in-breeding (and also out-breeding) in this one family is simply astonishing. I can't remember if the original edition had a genealogical chart at the beginning, but this one does, and it provides an invaluable reference in keeping the philanderings, and the subsequent progeny, straight, particularly since numerous individuals over the generations have the same name. What is the "Scarlet Letter" that is prophesized for a family with such a high degree of consanguinity? That a child will be born with a pig's tail.

Marquez dazzles the reader with the intensity of his writing; it's as though he had a 1600 page book in him, but is given a 400 page limit. It is the furious sketching of a street artist, making every line count in a portrait. The strengths, follies, and interactions of the men and women are depicted in memorable events. And there seems to be a realistic balance and development of his characters.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, magical and eloquent 29 Jan 2003
Format:Paperback
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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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Looking Glass Trip Through History 16 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
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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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars follow the family tree 24 Dec 2005
Format:Paperback
At first I though this was a boring book, getting mixed up and not making much sense. Then after about 100 pages I realised that the family tree at the start of the book wasn't there for nothing!! Follow the family tree and the story unfolds wonderfully. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but let's face it, writing isn't only about story telling but also about the use of language, idiom, metaphor and so on. Marquez excels. It's now Christmas and this book has won my favourite book of 2005 award. I'll definitely be looking out for more of Mr Marquez's books.
Francis Darmanin (MALTA)
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Published 6 days ago by Elizabeth Teal
4.0 out of 5 stars A relentless weaving narrative
This is a great novel. I love the blend of magical fantasy, humour and tragedy as we watch a multiple generations of the family grow up in a swampy town. Read more
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Published 12 days ago by T A Falade
5.0 out of 5 stars A master writer
I read the book once many years ago and found so much in it a second time. The mix of real and unreal is in the hands of a master writer and although I usually avoid any fantasy in... Read more
Published 13 days ago by J. Tennant
5.0 out of 5 stars As described
Quick arrival. Product as described - except the adjacent picture was different from the one on the cover. Read more
Published 14 days ago by ailsac
5.0 out of 5 stars the kind that could easily form part of study for a BA (Hons) degree
A most intriguing book, the kind that could easily form part of study for a BA (Hons) degree, in English Literature.
Published 16 days ago by J. C. CRONIN
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