100 Years of Solitude

I do not quite recall where I read about the book, but I found that I had a note someplace, with this title. Only now, do I realize that it was a Nobel Prize winning book, written in 1967. Wikipedia has it that the book has been translated into 37 languages and has sold over 30 million copies. I can see why that would be so.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez has a unique style of story-telling and boy does he tell a good story! He had me hooked from Page 1. It helped that I had little clue about the book and took it up only because of my note from whenever. It meant that it took me a good 100 pages to understand the pace of the story and where it may be leading. The story flows along without being sympathetic to any character and without really aggrandizing any single person. The minute I started warming up to one of the characters, there would be a twist in his or her fate, that would leave you stranded and perhaps, taken in by another, equally intriguing one introduced!

Gabriel does not always build up to a suspenseful ending to the character’s life. There are teasers thrown much in advance on the denouement of the person. What remains is the story that actually gets the person to that final stage. Set in the fictitious town of Macondo, it is rightfully considered a magnum opus of the man. I was reeled in hook, line and sinker with the ebbs and flows of the story line. Of course, there is fantasy thrown in, there is joy and there is sorrow and at the end of it all, I am left with a sense of marvel at the brilliance of the story-telling.

Not all of it was smooth sailing though. There were times when the story seemed to be progressing rather slowly. There are passages that extend through an entire page or more that makes it difficult to retain focus. Another challenge was with remembering the multitude of characters and their lineage. Centered as the story is, around the Buendia family, I was lost quite early on. Who fathered whom, with who and what happened to X, Y or Z are difficult to recall. But then, this is not a textbook and I am not preparing for an exam!

All in all, I would give the book 4 stars on 5. It is quite an experience – lots of fun reading and getting immersed in the lives and times of the Buendias, Gabriel Garcia Marquez style.

Residing in Bengaluru, I am a Techie by profession and a thinker and doer by birth. I muse about any topic under the sun and love to share my thoughts in print when I am not doing something with them. I love reading and at some point, thought that maybe others would like to read what I have to write, too!

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