Top positive review
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Won the Nobel prize for a reason
on 16 May 2017
95% of people won’t and don’t like this book – particularly if you are the type of person who needs to be on edge of a thrill to finish a book, or conversely want a relaxing read without fully engaging, or are easily put off by the fantastical. Self-select given this information.
100 years is a slow burner which requires constant brain engagement as it embeds its mature political and social commentary deep within a magical realism approach with a distinct Latin-American aroma. Re-reading pages allows you to absorb the imagery, whilst re-reading the book allows you to fully grasp some of the themes and Easter eggs laid by Marquez. Magical realism at its best, the novel immerses you into a world of necromancy, contagious insomnia plagues and thunderstorms of yellow flowers – (although the months of rain are more conceivable for UK readers).
Whilst clearly depressing in nature, the book flouts the acceptance of loss, of disaster and the eternal looping of time – ticking off all hallmarks of the tragicomedy of humankind. Marquez emphasises the narrative of a nationwide civil war, to its near destruction by greedy white industrialists, and through years of constant monsoon-like deluge with a distinct Latin-American style.
Some may find the repetition of names within the Buendia family excessively confusing – in my opinion it is useful in drawing attention to the shared collective fate of the protagonist (the whole family); individual characters taking a secondary role. One Hundred Years Of Solitude is worth reading for its imagery alone, but when so many human stories are threaded through as well, the novel transforms into a superb experience.
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