4. 100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, February 18
Everyone kept telling me I should read this, since I love Gaiman and appear to be into Magical Realism. I’ll agree: I love Gaiman, but it appears I might not be a huge fan of Murakami, who can also fit into the genre. I’m going to try to be nice about Murakami, though, since I think a lot of my issue is the fact that I’m reading a translation. That doesn’t for one minute allow him to write women so poorly, but apparently in Japanese, it’s like reading poetry. He can have SOME benefit of the doubt.
So I grabbed this one, knowing it would be long, but having no problems with it. I didn’t realize that a few things in the book would make it feel even longer: like the fact that almost all of the male characters (of which there are many) have the same name, it follows war in a land I am not familiar with, and it goes on forever about some things.
I will say I liked it more than reading Murakami. That’s certain. However, the story felt like it dragged on a bit. In terms of what was happening in the story, it was interesting to read. I like the idea of following ONE family through their entire line, all the way down to the final descendant (it felt like there should have been more).
Initially, I thought it was a story about a family who was cursed. And maybe that was a part of it. I think the larger theme is that history often repeats itself. And it didn’t help that in this story’s case, most of the family members never left the small town they helped to found. And everyone having the same names didn’t help, either.
The way Marquez describes scenery and landscape is lovely. I really enjoyed reading his descriptions of the homes, the land, and other places they traveled. This book, unlike the Murakami books, read easily in English even though it was also a translation. I might try another of his books eventually, albeit, a shorter one. A few friends have said that this was NOT their favorite from him. So I’ll give another one a shot, eventually.
It was interesting. But I won’t be reading it again.