One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Márquez
“Time was not passing, it was turning in a circle.”
Genre: Magic Realism, Novel
I personally do not think that there is a specific age to start reading any book written by Gabriel García Márquez.
I must admit that, despite having a great quantity of his books at home, I started reading them only this year.
The book I want to talk about today is One Hundred Years of Solitude.
The first thing I want to make clear to anyone who hasn’t read it yet is that this book actually doesn’t talk about solitude at all; from the title we may imagine that it talks about the lonely life of a lonely person, nope.
On the contrary, it talks about the lives of the members of the Buendía’s family since its origins until its very end.
The members of the family are many and share the same names, mainly the male ones, and when your reading reaches almost the middle of the novel you find yourself really confused, unable to understand who is the son of whom, or the brother of whom etc.
The entire story is set in Macondo, the village that we can say belongs to the Buendías, and this city is, for me, a sort of miniaturisation of the macrocosm, of the entire world, and these characters represents a variety of human beings’ kinds.
Each member of the family, also those who left Macondo to live abroad, are locked up into the village and its routine, and their lives are strictly bound.
The unfolding of the events isn’t linear, there is no evolution or worsening of the family situation, because life is circular.
It seems things were bound to happen, no matter what the characters do.
In my opinion, the second half of the novel is easier to understand and it is also more interesting than the previous one; in the first part you have to understand who is who, son, daughter or aunt of someone else, and so you are less interested to follow the events than trying to understand who are all the members of the family.
One thing I noticed while reading is that each character is sometimes, and in certain circumstances, a sort of double of another one, in his/her way of thinking or talking, in his/her movements etc.
Despite the complicated relationships of the characters that made me often found confused, I enjoyed this reading.
There is a little suggestion I want to give to you; once you start reading this story, write down at the beginning of the book the family tree of the characters, who are the parents of whom, and who marries whom.
Believe me, it will help you so much.