Considered one of the most prolific 20th century writers, Gabriel García Márquez’s death sparked commentary from complimentary to critical. Yet, the only thing that truly matters is that he is remembered for his writings on love, loss and the bleak reality of solitude. García Márquez was a literary voice for Latin America, and in one hundred years his words will still hold weight. The ones that appeared on the page, the ones that existed between the lines and the ones that might never see the light of day because García Márquez deserves your attention and your shelf space.
I read this novel senior year of high school. I thought it would take one hundred years to finish — and it almost did. Kidding. Following seven generations of the Buendia family, the novel explores the inevitable repetition of history and broken promises. The most important thing to know about this book, and García Márquez in general, is that you might take 10 different detours, but the destination is always satisfying.
Here, García Márquez proves that one can have all the proof and still be baffled by murder. Recounting the story of one man’s death that an entire town knew would happen, the novella challenges the inaction of the town bystanders as much as it does the actual murderers. One of his more succinct pieces of writing, it’s a good read for García Márquez beginners.
If you’re a fan of Virginia Woolf length sentences, I recommend this book. Spoiler alert, it is probably one of García Márquez’s most challenging works to get through. The line between good and bad is blurred to the point of invisibility as last days of a dying dictator are recounted. I suggest reading it once, twice and maybe if you’re not completely over it, a third time.
What is your favorite García Márquez story? Tell us in the comments below.
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