“Gaston was not only a fierce lover, with endless wisdom and imagination, but he was also, perhaps, the first man in the history of the species who had made an emergency landing and had come close to killing himself and his sweetheart simply to make love in a field of violets.”
Gabriel Garcais Marquez classic is one that will always have a place in my library. It’s my self-proclaimed favorite book. A few summers ago during a vacation in the Yucatan, I needed some entertainment for the eight-hour plus bus rides. Luckily enough, the hostel I was staying in had one English book, and ironically enough, it was 100 Years of Solitude. Hearing praise of the novel from friends, I snatched the copy.
100 Years of Solitude is the multi-generational story of the Buendia family in the fictional town of Macondo. When Jose Arcadia Buendia believes his small village is surrounded by water, he sets out to make it flourish.As the Buendia family and town inhabitants grow larger, the more peculiar the novel’s events become. While it’s quite apparent that Macondo will collapse from the beginning, the tight-knit story keeps you hooked to the very last line.
Based off the founding of Columbia, Marquez blends uses magical realism to weave the intricate narrative. Released in 1967 in Latin American and ’70 in English, the book’s influence of Columbia folklore and Modernist literature certainly fit in with the times.
So why should we read 100 Years of Solitude? Filled with comedy, tragedy, and Marquez’s always elegant unrequited romance, the novel has a more than a little something for everybody. It’s fun, poetic, historical, not always the easiest, but Marquez’s masterpiece is definitely worth it. I use my friend’s response when anyone ask me if they should read the novel. “I never really finish the novel. I flip back to page 1 and start all over.”