Friday, September 11, 2015

Read Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Orginal Spanish Title: Cien años de soledad) by 
Paperback, 422 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Penguin Books (first published 1967)

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Blurb:

'MANY YEARS LATER, AS HE FACED THE FIRING SQUAD, COLONEL AURELIANO BUENDÍA WAS TO REMEMBER THAT DISTANT AFTERNOON WHEN HIS FATHER TOOK HIM TO DISCOVER ICE'

Pipes and kettledrums herald the arrival of gypsies on their annual visit to Macondo, the newly founded village where José Arcadio Buendía and his strong-willed wife, Úrsula, have started their new life. As the mysterious Melquíades excites Aureliano Buendía and his father with new inventions and tales of adventure, neither can know the significance of the indecipherable manuscript that the old gypsy passes into their hands.

Through plagues of insomia, civil war, hauntings and vendettas, the many tribulations of the Buendía household push memories of the manuscript aside. Few remember its existence and only one will discover the hidden message that it holds...
  
MY THOUGHTS:
My bestie gifted me this amazing book on my birthday this year. And I absolutely loved this classic.

The writing style is magical realism, a style of fantasy wherein the fantastic and the unbelievable are treated as everyday occurrences. The story goes through seven generations of the Buendia family. The plot is the imaginary and peaceful village of Macondo. The children are named after their ancestors, so there are multiple characters with the same name. I had to check the family tree, depicted in the beginning of the novel, several times while reading to identify the character. The family is absolutely mad, each character with their unique peculiarities and personalities. The village is crazy too. People go on living for hundreds of years, it keeps on raining for three years and gypsies come with flying carpets and what not. Family secrets, lineage, scandals and madness; this story has it all. Also it incorporates the historical aspects of Latin America and educates the reader on the same.

This is not a book to be ravished but relished. I didn't devour this book, but relished it slowly, taking few pages at a time everyday. After a long time, I have read such a different book. It was originally written in Spanish and I am sure that the original work is much more magical than the translation. A salute and many thanks to the translator, Gregory Rabassa, who took on the tough job and kept the magic of the original work intact. 

I have read many negative reviews. One has to remember that this is not a regular novel but a work of art. It's a masterpiece and should be read for the joy of literature.


1 comment:

  1. Nice review Nats! This book is in my TBR and I think I need to read it soon! :)

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