ARGH THIS BOOK IS SO FREAKIN' AMAZING VOLUME VOLUME LOUD NOISES!
For serious. You will love it with your brain-face. You will want to carry it around with you in a baby carrier because it is your Precious. You will want to feed it your favorite ice cream and sing it songs and maybe put some Miracle-Gro on it so it will sprout another one and you can have two. You will ignore your relatives and maybe lose your job because you told the customers to F*CK OFF I'M READING.
One Hundred Years of Solitude is like every crazy, cracked out story your great-grandmother ever told you combined with the most screwy of soap opera plots combined with fairy tales combined with the saddest of tragic family sagas combined with an author's genius ability to make it all about the repetition of history and the greatest heights and depths of joy and sorrow and loneliness. With a cherry on top. And that cherry is THE CHERRY OF BRILLIANCE.
Yes, every character basically has the same name. There are six (seven?) generations in the book, and all their names are a variation of Aureliano, Arcadio, Remedios, or Ursula, with a Jose thrown around for good measure. But it's purposeful and I can't tell you why because that would be spoilerific but TAKE HEART! For there is a family tree in the front of the book to which you will refer with a swiftness. There is also the magical realism which is almost unnoticeable because GGM slips it in there like it ain't no thang, hence the crazy grandma-story feel. It's not as distracting as the magical realism in, say, The House of the Spirits, where you're all "WTF is with the mermaid lady?" In One Hundred Years, you're all "of course she got carried away into heaven with the laundry- why wouldn't she?"
Anyway, when you're done you will feel like you know everything and have felt everything involved in the human experience and your heart will be both broken and whole and it will be the best.
Five stars out of your mom I MEAN A MILLIONTY AND SEVEN STARS.