Sunday, April 22, 2007



This book tells the story of a family who founded a town called Mocando in South America. It spans over one hundred years with visits from gypsies with scientific inventions, alchemy, a plague of insomnia, civil war and rain that lasted over two years. When mysterious gypsy Melquiades (friend of Jose Arcadio) dies for the second timehe leaaves behind papers with the family that will take one hundred years to decipher by one of Jose Arcadio's descendents.

It took me such a long time to get into this book as I found it so dull. It's such a classic and so many people have recommended it to me that I felt guilty for not enjoying it more so I perservered... The last one hundred pages or so redeemed it slightly by grabbing my attention more. The other thing I found hard going was keeping track of who was who as the family shared a few key names (Aureliano, Jose, Arcadio, Amaranta and Remedios). Luckily at the front of the book was a family tree which helped me to keep up with which generation I was reading about by frequently checking back to it.

My favourite characters were Ursula Iguaran who was the matriach of the family married to the original Jose Arcadio and Pilar Ternera who was outside of the main family and the mother of two sons by different brothers in the family. Pilar Ternera was a prostitute and a madam who read playing cards and lived well over a hundred years. Ursula kept her family in check and despite turning blind she was the most insightful and knowledgable of the family.

Overall though I will have to give it **1/2 out of 5 sadly.

6 comments:

Literary Feline said...

I was very disappointed in this book too. Your review sums up many of my own thoughts, Rinoa.

Marg said...

You know, I read this in an online group situation, and I think that that really helped to enhance my understanding of what was going on when and what all the symbolism meant if anything. I loved it!

naridu said...

This is one of those books that you do have to really work your way through and think about the different sections, the purpose and reason behind them. I find that reading something like this is difficult, yet ultimately rewarding, when I think back on the overall picture.

Mailyn said...

Thanks for stopping by our site and, although I am a bit late, congrats on the win!

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BookRat said...

Yet another one I've never got around to... *guilt*

chittavrtti said...

Of the two Marquez books I've read I much preferred this one but hen after a while I simpky ingnore the plot details and allowed the images to become paintings.***CV