This was the first I’d read from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, on an island in the Philippines, more than ten years ago, and the first example of magic realism I’d ever come across. It remains the best example I’ve ever read. Marquez excels like no other at telling a story filled with fantasy and events that couldn’t possibly be true, yet you believe him completely. It takes a powerful writer to elicit such trust from his readers but Marquez is exactly that. He mixes beauty, sorrow, and the downright bizarre in strange and wonderful ways.
One Hundred Years of Solitude is the story of a South American town, Macondo, and a family, the Buendias. It spans years and generations, growth, decay, love, loss. There are so many characters it shouldn’t make sense, yet it does. There are images in this novel that will stick in your mind as clearly as if you saw them yourself.
You should really read this.
(And if you have already, I also recommend Marquez’s autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale. It’s an interesting companion to the novel since you’ll be able to see parts of Marquez’s own life and family history that inspired his writing.)
Previous Friday Favourites:
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway