The brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel that tells the story of the Buendia family, and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as magical realism. Mystical and captivating.One Hundred Years of Solitude by Nobel laureate Gabriel Garc a M rquez, first published in 1967 in his native Colombia and then first published in English in 1970, is a unique literary experience, overwhelming in its virtuosity and magnificent in scope.I recall my review of Tolstoy s War and Peace, trying to describe a book like it and realizing there are no other books like it it is practically a genre unto itself That said, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a masterpiece of narrative ability, and is itself unique as a statement, but reminiscent of many other great books Pasternak s Doctor Zhivago, Lowry s Under the Volcano, Buck s The Good Earth, and Joyce s Ulysses were the works that I thought of while reading, but no doubt this is a one of a kind.Using all of the literary devices I have ever learned and making up many as he went along, Garc a M rquez established a new epoch of descriptive resonance Magic realism and hyperbole abound in his fantastic history of the mythical town of Macondo separated by mountains and a swamp road from everything else and of the Buend a family, whose lifeblood was the dramatic heart of the village from inception until the fateful end.Garc a M rquez employs incestuous and repetitive family situations to emphasize his chronicle and a dynamic characterization that is labyrinthine in its complexity Dark humor walks the ancient halls of the ancestral mansion home along with the ghosts of those who have come before Incredibly Garc a M rquez ties it all together into a complete and prophetically sound ending that breathes like poetry to the finish.Finally I must concede that this review is wholly inadequate This is a book that must be read 2018 I had a conversation about this book recently and I was asked what was the big deal why was this so special It had been a while since I had read but my response was that after turning the last page I was struck dumb, had to walk the earth metaphorically for a few days to gather my thoughts on what I had read really than that, what I had experienced I read alot of books and a book that smacks me like that deserves some reflection.Another indicator to me, and this is also subjective is that I have thought about this book frequently since I read a book and enjoy it, was entertained and escaped for a while into the writer s world, and then I finish and write a review, slap a 3 star on it and go to the next book There are some books, years later that I have to refresh my memory who wrote that what was it about Not so with 100 years Like so many other five star ratings, this one has stayed with me and I think about Macondo sometimes and can see the weeds and vines growing up through the hardwood floors This is a special book. Revised 28 March 2012 Huh Oh Oh, man Wow.I just had the weirdest dream.There was this little town, right And everybody had, like, the same two names And there was this guy who lived under a tree and a lady who ate dirt and some other guy who just made little gold fishes all the time And sometimes it rained and sometimes it didn t, and and there were fire ants everywhere, and some girl got carried off into the sky by her laundry Wow That was messed up.I need some coffee.The was roughly how I felt after reading this book This is really the only time I ve ever read a book and thought, You know, this book would be awesome if I were stoned And I don t even know if being stoned works on books that way.Gabriel Garcia Marquez which is such a fun name to say is one of those Writers You Should Read You know the type they re the ones that everyone claims to have read, but no one really has The ones you put in your online dating profile so that people will think you re smarter than you really are You get some kind of intellectual bonus points or something, the kind of highbrow cachet that you just don t get from reading someone like Stephen King or Clive Barker.Marquez was one of the first writers to use magical realism, a style of fantasy wherein the fantastic and the unbelievable are treated as everyday occurrences While I m sure it contributed to the modern genre of urban fantasy which also mixes the fantastic with the real magical realism doesn t really go out of its way to point out the weirdness and the bizarrity These things just happen A girl floats off into the sky, a man lives far longer than he should, and these things are mentioned in passing as though they were perfectly normal.In this case, Colonel Aureliano Buendia has seventeen illegitimate sons, all named Aureliano, by seventeen different women, and they all come to his house on the same day Remedios the Beauty is a girl so beautiful that men just waste away in front of her, but she doesn t even notice The twins Aureliano Segundo and Jose Arcadio Segundo may have, in fact, switched identities when they were children, but no one knows for sure not even them In the small town of Macondo, weird things happen all the time, and nobody really notices Or if they do notice that, for example, the town s patriarch has been living for the last twenty years tied to a chestnut tree, nobody thinks anything is at all unusual about it.This, of course, is a great example of Dream Logic the weird seems normal to a dreamer, and you have no reason to question anything that s happening around you Or if you do notice that something is wrong, but no one else seems to be worried about it, then you try to pretend like coming to work dressed only in a pair of spangly stripper briefs and a cowboy hat is perfectly normal.Another element of dreaminess that pervades this book is that there s really no story here, at least not in the way that we have come to expect Reading this book is kind of like a really weird game of The Sims it s about a family that keeps getting bigger and bigger, and something happens to everybody So, the narrator moves around from one character to another, giving them their moment for a little while, and then it moves on to someone else, very smoothly and without much fanfare There s very little dialogue, so the story can shift very easily, and it often does.Each character has their story to tell, but you re not allowed to linger for very long on any one of them before Garcia shows you what s happening to someone else The result is one long, continuous narrative about this large and ultimately doomed family, wherein the Buendia family itself is the main character, and the actual family members are secondary to that.It was certainly an interesting reading experience, but it took a while to get through I actually kept falling asleep as I read it, which is unusual for me But perhaps that s what Garcia would have wanted to happen By reading his book, I slipped off into that non world of dreams and illusions, where the fantastic is commonplace and ice is something your father takes you to discover Arcadio imposed obligatory military service for men over eighteen, declared to be public property any animals walking the streets after six in the evening, and made men who were overage wear red armbands He sequestered Father Nicanor in the parish house under pain of execution and prohibited him from saying mass or ringing the bells unless it was for a Liberal victory In order that no one would doubt the severity of his aims, he ordered a firing squad organized in the square and had it shoot a scarecrow At first no one took him seriously. I guarantee that 95% of you will hate this book, and at least 70% of you will hate it enough to not finish it, but I loved it Guess I was just in the mood for it Here s how it breaks down AMAZING THINGS I can literally feel new wrinkles spreading across the surface of my brain when I read this guy He s so wicked smart that there s no chance he s completely sane His adjectives and descriptions are 100% PERFECT, and yet entirely nonsensical After reading three chapters, it starts making sense and that s when you realize you re probably crazy, too And you are We all are.The magical realism style of the book is DELICIOUS Sure, it s an epic tragedy following a long line of familial insanity, but that doesn t stop the people from eating dirt, coming back from the dead, spreading a plague of contagious insomnia, or enjoying a nice thunderstorm of yellow flowers It s all presented in such a natural light that you think, Of course Of course he grows aquatic plants in his false teeth Now why wouldn t he This guy is the epitome of unique Give me a single sentence, ANY SENTENCE the man has ever written, and I will recognize it Nobody writes like him Also, his sentences average about 1,438 words each, so pretty much it s either him or Faulkner REASONS WHY MOST OF YOU WILL HATE THIS BOOK I have to engage every ounce of my mental ability just to understand what the is going on Most people who read for relaxation and entertainment will want to send Marquez hate mail Also, there are approximately 20 main characters and about 4 names that they all share I realize that s probably realistic in Hispanic cultures of the era, but SERIOUSLY, by the time you get to the sixth character named Aureliano, you ll have to draw yourself a diagram Not even the classic Russians suffer from as much name confusion as this guy.On an uber disturbing note, Marquez has once again as he did in Love in the Time of Cholera written a grown man having sex with a girl as young as 9 which is pretty much 1 on my list of Things That Make You Go EWW He makes Lolita look like Polyanna on the virtue chart Note to authors You give ONE of your characters a unique, but disgusting characteristic and it s good writing Give it to than one, and we start thinking we re reading your psychological profile, ya creep If you feel like pushing your brain to its max, read it The man did win the Nobel after all, it s amazing But get ready to work harder to understand something than you ever have before in your life And may God be with you.FAVORITE QUOTES coincidentally also the shortest ones in the book She had the rare virtue of never existing completely except at the opportune moment.He soon acquired the forlorn look that one sees in vegetarians.Children inherit their parents madness.He really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude.The air was so damp that fish could have come in through the doors and swum out the windows.He was unable to bear in his soul the crushing weight of so much past.It s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.A person doesn t die when he should but when he can. So I know that I m supposed to like this book because it is a classic and by the same author who wrote Love in the Time of Cholera Unfortunately, I just think it is unbelievably boring with a jagged plot that seems interminable Sure, the language is interesting and the first line is the stuff of University English courses Sometimes I think books get tagged with the classic label because some academics read them and didn t understand and so they hailed these books as genius These same academics then make a sport of looking down their noses at readers who don t like these books for the very same reasons If this all sounds too specific, yes I had this conversation with a professor of mine.I know that other people love this book and power to them, I ve tried to read it all the way through three different times and never made it past 250 pages before I get so bored keeping up with all the births, deaths, magical events and mythical legends I ll put it this way, I don t like this book for the same reason that I never took up smoking If I have to force myself to like it, what s the point When I start coughing and hacking on the first cigarette, that is my body telling me this isn t good for me and I should quit right there When I start nodding off on the second page of One Hundred Years of Solitude that is my mind trying to tell me I should find a better way to pass my time.