Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gabriel Garcia Marquez - One Hundred Years of Solitude III

"A lot has been said about this book, from how great it is to how bad it is. Well for what it's worth, I didn't think much of it."

"Truly an epoch novel."

"The whole time I was reading this I was trying to figure out what everyone loves about it. I love language--M.F.K. Fisher's sensual descriptions of oysters, the magical visions Truman Capote evokes--but Marquez's writing just didn't speak to me. It didn't seem fresh and I didn't have any of those 'oh, how perfect' moments when a writer describes something exactly as it should be described. I also love the characters I come to know through literature--Anne of Green Gables, Isabel Archer in Portrait of a Lady--but his were hollow forms--merely pieces in a plot, not personalities to get attached to or angry with. In the years to come, I won't remember their pleasures and their struggles because Marquez never let me in. I had such high hopes that this would be a novel I could love, but I guess it just wasn't my style"


"More like A Hundred Years of Torture. I read this partly in a misguided attempt to expand my literary horizons ... The whole time I read it I thought, 'This must be what it’s like to be stoned.'"

"I just can't fathom what everyone sees in this book. The writing style is not engaging, it's more childlike in its 'first he did this, then he did that' way. The barrage of characters all interbreeding and using the same names; the unfathomable storyline (where is all this leading?); the mix of fantasy and normality; all these things combined to constantly annoy me.

So why does it get such great press? Are people too embarrassed to say they didn't like? Am I just unable to appreciate art? I don't know and frankly, I don't care."

"Having being told that 100 Years of Solitude is one of the best Spanish language books ever written I was so disappointed when I found out that this was a complete and utter lie. Or if it is the truth, it really sets a low standard for Hispanic literature!"

"There is nothing good about One Hundred Years of Solitude. In fact reading it felt like Three Hundred Years of Suck."

"First the style of writing is terrible. It's like a history of a multi-generation family told in a hurry. An account of things that happened. There's so many characters introduced one after another that are shallow (no psychology) that you loose track who's who along the way especially that they all have the same names (Jose Arcadio, Jose, Arcadio, Arcadio Jose...). Another thing is the unfortunate addition of fantasy to a novel that seems to be historical fiction (although not based on any country or events in particular). The gypsies on flying carpets and heavenly ascension are totally out of place. Surprisingly this book was even praised for the interweaving of reality and fantasy. I say it was very awkward. I recommend Haruki Murakami to see how it's done skilfully. In addition incest seems to be one of the main themes of this book. Marquez must have been on some serious drug rampage while writing it and trying to come on terms with his Edip complex."

"Why do the characters have the same names? How can we maintain an interest when we keep having to refer to the family tree and even then it doesn't seem right?"

"Marquez has chosen ... to make all the characters share impossibly similar names throughout the generations."

"If you have a taste for weird books then this might be for you. Unfortunately I interpret the author's bizarre decadency into people living for 150 years, ascending to the sky, being born with pig-tails etc. etc. as being poor writing."

"you can just read what happens at the end without reading the rest of the book and it wouldn't make any difference."

"Hugely overhyped pile of turgid dross ... Forget this drivel, and find someone who can actually write a novel."

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