Saturday, August 13, 2011

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Not So Much a Review as a Gush of LKSEFOIFJKEMSH$*##NJK

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.

26 comments:

  1. Lol great review. I love that book so, so much. Read it three times and your review makes me want to read it again RIGHT NOW

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  2. One of my absolute favorites, too. The only thing I remember not liking about it was the amount of sex, but then I was fourteen when I read it.

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  3. Mostly I just sneak in and read your wonderful reviews and run away again because I feel all empty-headed and nothing brilliant to say. But this is an AWESOME review and I just needed to say so.

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  4. Why don't you tell us how you really feel :-)
    I read this book a few years ago and I have to say I completely didn't get it. Maybe one day I'll go back to it. I love the enthusiasm of your review.

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  5. Of all of your awesome reviews, this is the awesomest yet. :) Have you read Love in the Time of Cholera? I like that even a bit more than Hundred Years.

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  6. Wonderful review!

    I absolutely LOVED this when I read it last summer. At first I wasn't sure, but man...what a BOOK.

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  7. I love magical realism done well, and this is gold. :)

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  8. Whoops, I meant to say that you might like Like Water for Chocolate if you haven't read that already, and I also loved The Hummingbird's Daughter, probably more than 100 Years.

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  9. Truth. I read this before knowing about magical realism and whatnot, and it took me a while to wonder why there were all these ancient characters and bizarre things going on, and I didn't care because it was AMAZING. I use a bit of the novel in SAT tutoring (the bit where everybody gets really angry at the movies), and my students don't like it. So sad. This is on my reread list as well. Hopefully I will be equally not-disappointed.

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  10. And this makes me want to try again since I failed the first time. !!!

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  11. Maree- I think I'm going to put it in my regular rotation. Can't believe I waited 10 years for a re-read.

    Susie- There IS a good bit of bedroom antics, but it's done so tastefully and isn't vulgar in anyway...well, except for the parts about incest.

    Bev- I don't say anything brilliant, sometimes I don't even say real words (see post title) so PLEASE! Comment away!

    Suzanne- I've noticed that people either love it or reaallllyy don't love it. I feel you- I'm the same with CATCHER IN THE RYE. Just. Don't. Get it.

    Her Royal Orangeness- I HAVE read it but I don't remember anything about it. Another one from high school that I'll revisit...

    Allie- It takes a minute to grow on you, and suddenly you realize that you're experiencing genius.

    Jenny- RIGHT?!

    Mel U- Thankee

    Eclectic Reader- You shouldn't wait! NO WAITING!

    Jennifer- It's almost Biblical in it's unbelievable believability, in how he just states these things with such a straight face. Your students need a punch to the brain-face.

    Andi- Do try again! Or maybe wait a few years?

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  12. But . . . but . . . GGM isn't dead OR especially white! Are you expanding your horizons? LOVE the cherry of brilliance, btw.

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  13. Kathy- Well, shit. He DID win a Nobel. That counts, right? RIGHT?

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  14. LOL - I didn't like this book, but that's what makes the world go 'round, I guess!

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  15. Oh wow. Such enthusiasm for one of my most-hated novels of all time! But as Debbie says, it takes all tastes to make the library revolving doors go around.

    Seriously? The gazillions of Aurelianos didn't drive you insane?

    Anyway, glad you enjoyed it, and a hilarious review to read.

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  16. I"m so glad you like it. I read Love In The Time of Cholera and wasn't all that impressed, I had this one on my list because it's the one everyone talks about. Since you loved it so I may give it another shot. I rarely disagree with your taste in books.

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  17. I love GGM in general and One Hundred Years of Solitude in particular. I also read Love in The Time of Cholera and The Autumn of the Patriarch. I can’t really say which one is my favorite.

    Great review, thanks!

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  18. I LOVED this book--even though I read it for school! I really really need to read it again, but I kinda want to read it in Spanish because if it is so wonderful in translation it's got to be even better in the original, right? Except my Spanish isn't that good. Yet. Someday. Maybe. Now if only I could actually successfully convince any of my family members that they should actually read this...

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  19. Did I miss something? Are you enjoying a book by contemporary living author :)? Yes, this book is truly wonderful. GGM is one of my favorite authors. If you are so inclined, I recommend his novellas as well. Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The Leaf Storm and No One Writes to the Colonel are my favs among his shorter stuff. I don't think Love in the Time of Cholera grabs us the way that One Hundred Years... does. Thanks for the review.

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  20. Loved this book a long time ago, and I bet I'd love it more now. I tried to read it in Spanish but got lazy and resorted to the English version. Reading this review brought me back to the freshly upholstered green chairs in my parents' house where I read and marveled at the trail of blood dripping down the hallway, and out the door, and down the street.....

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  21. Great review, I feel the same way. I've read One Hundred Years of Solitude in one sitting, couldn't stop reading even if I had wanted to.

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  22. Sorry I'm late on the commenting game. I feel the same way about this book as you. A wonderful story and beautiful imagery.

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  23. Just found your blog through BBAW and am an official fangirl. Equal love for this one and unlove for Catcher in the Rye. I think the unobtrusive nature of the magical realism stuff is what makes it magical realism. If it's too noticeable, it's just magic, and the reader can take or leave that as she wishes. Now..two cents inserted, I'm returning to reading old posts. Such fun!

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