Book Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

I went in with high expectations for this classic, and unfortunately, I was disappointed. Not by the story or the concept which I found spellbinding, but by the narration which kept me not quite there in an arm’s length from the characters and the events. This wasn’t so straight away. The first pages drew me in, and I was there with the gypsies and José Arcadio Buendía, who I had mixed feelings about. The passion he had for the outside world and the wonders gypsies brought was inspiring. Still, the way he neglected his wife’s and family’s needs was the other side of the coin we often like to ignore when it comes to passionate and creative people who think outside of the box. For those first pages, I thought, “okay, I’m going to love this book.”

Then something happened, and it was an ordeal to read on. The events and characters felt like a shopping list told with a cold, detached voice, and I couldn’t get in to make a meal of a lifetime. I wanted to write a review praising this book, how Gabriel García Márquez has portrayed the changes happening in Colombian with one family cursed with misery, but I couldn’t. I wanted to write about the philosophical concept I was promised this book to contain and how they impacted me, but I can’t. I didn’t come out as a changed person. The last words of the book are beautiful, and they do leave this melancholic understanding of human life behind, but it was an ordeal to get there.

I’m sorry about this review. I know One Hundred Years of Solitude is loved by so many, and I can understand why. It is not only the destiny of one man, but it is also a destiny of family and nation. And if you have thought to read the book, do so despite me. You have to give it a chance and see if the prose speaks to you.

Thank you for reading and have a lovely day! We are all cursed one way or another, but it is a shame to die alone troubled by the past.

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