Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Rating:★★★¾☆ 
Manliness:★★☆☆☆ 

 

 

In 1967, Gabriel Garcia Marquez penned perhaps the most prolific South American novel ever written. 100 Years of Solitude is a slow-paced yet fantastically curious tale chronicling the creation, rise and fall of the fictional city of Macondo paralleled with the Buendia family.  Marquez does a masterful job interweaving the complex intricacies of each family member into a beautifully written historical account. Over the city’s short lifespan it experiences war, wealth, famine, great success and great failure all thanks to the pursuits of the Buendias.

The family is somewhat bizarre. In fact, that is probably an understatement. The patriarch of the family, Jose Arcadio Buendia, treks the mountains and founds Macondo as a completely isolated city with a bit of a misguided Utopian mentality. This “solitude” is a major theme that plagues the six eccentric (and rather incestual) generations he fathers. The Buendia men (all named either Arcadio or Aureliano) repeatedly chase misguided ideals hilariously unrealistic discoveries and ultimately seal their own family’s miserable fate. The characters are lovable – not because they are admirable, more due to their stupidity and eccentricities – and at times it isn’t certain if the family deserves the reader’s sympathy or deserves to be straight up laughed at.

This book is likely not for everyone. It is a somewhat laborious read, and it takes a lot of cross-referencing the Buendia family tree due to the reoccurring names and the overall cyclical nature of the family. From a literary perspective, the book scores very high. It is extremely clever and one can’t help but be blown away by how well the tale is told. The themes ring true, character development is strong and the writing is, quite frankly, incredible. In the end, while Macondo may be a beautiful disaster, 100 Years of Solitude is well worth the time and effort.

About APC

Following his days in the Octagon, APC worked for an undisclosed amount of time tracking and studying a colony of Yetis in eastern Nepal (read more about his travels in his memoir, "Backgammon 101: Let the Yeti Win"). Nowadays, he spends his time in Havana fitting model ships inside glass bottles, and counting his gold bullions with his chimpanzee, Don Ultimo.
Currently Reading:
-Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
-East of Eden by John Stienbeck
-Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie

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