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Memories of My Melancholy Whores (Marquez 2014) Paperback – 6 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (6 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241968542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241968543
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gabriel García Márquez was born in Aracataca, Colombia, in 1928.

He has written a great number of books, including the masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. He now lives in Mexico City.

Márquez studied at the University of Bogotá and later worked as a reporter for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador and as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Caracas and New York. His first full-length work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, was published in 1967 to immediate worldwide success. The book is perhaps the prime example of Márquez's remarkable ability to present the supernatural as mundane and the mundane as supernatural. It chronicles the history of a family in the fictional town of Macondo - the loves, hates, rivalries, wars, successes and failures. The novel is an example of postmodernism, treating time with ambiguity and crossing genres and narrative styles. Salman Rushdie has described the book as "the greatest novel in any language of the last fifty years".

Another of Márquez's masterworks, Love in the Time of Cholera, was published to widespread acclaim in 1985. The book, a complex and compelling study of the myths we make about love, is less fantastical than One Hundred Years of Solitude but just as luminous and unique.He is the author of several novels and collections of stories, including Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Leaf Storm, No One Writes to the Colonel, In Evil Hour, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Innocent Eréndira and Other Stories, The Autumn of the Patriach,News of a Kidnapping, The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor, Love in the Time of Cholera, The General in His Labyrinth, Strange Pilgrims, Of Love and Other Demons and the first first volume of his autobiography,Living to Tell the Tale. His most recent book is, Memories of my Melancholy Whores.

Many of his books are published by Penguin.

Nobel Prize for Literature

Product Description


Márquez describes this amorous, sometimes disturbing journey with the grace and vigour of a master storyteller (Daily Mail)

Profoundly haunting . one of literature's great figures pushes back the years and gives us fiction of the very highest order (TLS)

There is not one stale sentence, redundant word or unfinished thought (The Times)

Book Description

A major literary event: Gabriel Garcia Marquez's first work of fiction for ten years --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Aug 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I came across Memories Of My Melancholy Whores in the library and given that it is relatively slight, just over 100 pages thought I'd give this a crack at finally losing my Marquez virginity.

The novel concerns an elderly journalist, unnamed throughout the novel who has only ever had sex with whores. On his 90th birthday he decides that what he most wants, as a gift to himself, is to deflower an adolescent virgin.

At the beginning of this novel, I thought I was about to read an extremely distasteful tale of a dirty old man, engaging in a vile abuse that was tantamount to rape. I was fully prepared to throw the book aside in disgust.

But then, when he meets his again unnamed whore, whom he christens Delgadina, she has taken valerian out of fear, and has fallen into a deep sleep, and the two do not have intercourse.

What follows as a result of this failure to fulfill his plans turns into a love story of incredibly unusual parameters and is on occasion very touching and fable-like.

I don't think I've read a story like this before, and I really admired and enjoyed it.

Odd and unique, I think I would recommend this to people who enjoy reading stories that are a bit different from the norm and the mainstream.

I hope that in the rest of this year, I can finally read one of his larger novels
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Meraid Griffin on 22 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback
I liked the title - provocative and edgy. I read the teaser and was intrigued. A 90 year old man who wants a young virgin for his birthday. I had mixed thoughts when I read she was only 14 and underage even in Columbia, but this is a story of fiction. It's a sad tale of a man who never gave himself the opportunity to love, only to indulge himself in brief sexual gratification found in brothels.
When he wanted sex, he paid for it. He spent his days writing a newspaper column and paid for sex when he wanted it. Love fluttered into his life when he was younger, but he swatted it away like an annoying mosquito. As his 90th birthday approaches, he realises he has missed out on emotional love and in a desperate last bid, sets out to find it in the only place he knows - the bordello. I felt sorry for him and wanted him to find love.
Beautifully written discovery of love in the latter years.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
I couldn't initially decide if I was going to find `Memories of My Melancholy Whores' a mildly titillating read from its title (if I am being totally honest, especially after my failed attempts at Garcia Marquez before, I will admit that I thought that if it was it might help) and whilst there is some innuendo, bragging of the 514 women that he has slept with, a few very funny scenes of failed seduction and indeed of utter advantage taking, there is so much more going on in this novella.

As the novel opens we are introduced to our narrator on his ninetieth birthday where he has decided that he will give himself `the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin'. In fact no sooner have we met him than he is in contact with Rosa Cabarcas, the town's most infamous madam, who after a struggle finds him Delgadina a young girl of about fourteen. I will admit that when I read the `fourteen' I wasn't sure if I should read on, I was enthralled by the prose thus far but did I really want to read about a ninety year old man and a girl so young? Well, in the end I decided I should and thank goodness I did because what develops as the tale goes on is a touching story not only about love but also about age and a man who has never really had love in his life.

It was really this nameless man who makes this book a really special read. Not only as he goes from being this quite cold man who is very aware that he is difficult, `I pass myself off as prudent because I am so evil minded', to a man in the rather belated first flushes of youth. I also really liked him because of his humour, from tales of taking his maid Damiana by surprise (quite literally), which made me laugh out loud, to his sardonic wit in statements like `Movies are not my genre.
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Mar 2007
Format: Hardcover
Memoria de mis putas tristes is a gorgeous novella written in a way that makes life, despite its hardships, uncertainties and inherent unfairness, beautiful. Marquez's protagonist is a 90-year-old man who is rather ugly but has the "instrument" of a "burro" (to paraphrase a woman who knows), a man who has found his only love among prostitutes. He has a certain timeless eminence about him that inspires people to call him "Don Scholar." He is something of a miracle, still active and full of energy, still writing a weekly column for the local newspaper, cynical yet sentimental, a man who loves women and sees their beauty regardless of age or station in life.

Now suddenly as his tenth decade of life is upon him he is seized with the desire to know an adolescent virgin once before he dies. He contacts his old friend and madam Rosa Cabarcas and demands that she come up with exactly that bill of fare and--time being of the essence in more ways than one when you're ninety--that she do it today, now.

Amazingly enough, Rosa Cabarcas, being the excellent business woman that she is, finds just such a girl. She is illiterate, from the country. She is 14-years-old and works in a button factory all day long to help support her younger brothers and crippled mother. Naturally she is tired when the old man arrives at the bordello. In fact she is asleep. And perhaps that is for the best, all things considered.

The old man does not wake her. He barely touches her. He admires her, feels vitalized by her youth, the feel of her skin, her scent, and the soft rise and fall of her breath. Just this and this alone he experiences before he falls sweetly, languidly, hopelessly in love with her. He becomes a man refueled with the fire of life.
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