One Hundred years of solitude is a story of a Latin American family (Of Spanish Descendant) and in the book you live every moment of the family. I was recommended to read it by a teacher as a book which one “MUST” read in his/her lifetime. The teacher drew a list of books that one must read much like all time top movies one needs to watch.
The book itself was written in 1967 by Gabriel García Márquez who writes in Colombian historical backdrop with Spanish history taken into consideration. One believes that it also touches the tragic demise of the Spanish Royal House of Habsburg Dynasty’s EXTINCTION. It has been well documented that the Royal family members had cousin marriages and into the same family or more appropriately into the same clan( ie paternal and maternal). This inbreeding has been termed as incestuous and believes to be the reason for extinction of the Royal House. In the book One hundred Years of Solitude, the Grand-matriarch shows fear that one of her Descendants would be born with a pig tail.
The book is very detail oriented and there were times where I got bored and just kept on reading it for the sake of it. It is written in daily life narrative of a family (in this case Buendía family).
The starting of the book with Gypsies arrivals Melquíades in Mocando (which is preceded by a Romantic narrative where Colonel Aureliano Buendía is standing in front of a firing squad),Melquíades later returns from dead and gives Buendía family a book which is written in sanskrit (these sequences were irrelevant to me till I read the entire book and realized how important they were).
While reading the book certain things of these characters stood out for me.
- Jose Arcadio Buendía‘s desires and maddening
- Colonel Aureliano Buendía‘s revolutionary fights
- Úrsula Iguarán‘s determination
- José Arcadio‘s wildness
- Amaranta‘s stubbornness
- Aureliano José’s and Arcadio’s desire to be like Colonel Aureliano Buendía
- Santa Sofía de la Piedad‘s slient presence
- 17 Aurelianos: Sons of wild Colonel Aureliano Buendía, who were born when he was on wars and had beautiful women come to his tent at night to attend him and have his children.
- Remedios the Beauty: Her death giving beauty
- Aureliano Segundo and José Arcadio Segundo: the twin brother who die together.
- Fernanda del Carpio‘s royal desires
- Renata Remedios (a.k.a. Meme)’s rebillion
- José Arcadio (II)‘s death by the hand of children
- Amaranta Úrsula‘s free spirit.
- Aureliano Babilonia (Aureliano II)‘s isolation and reading
- Aureliano (III)‘s death
The theme on which the book is based on is “MAGICAL REALISM” which Gabriel García Márquez had tried for the 1st time in this book of his written in 1967. I can say that once the reader is done and if the book finds you off guard (or uninterested as I was after sometime). It is most likely to give you a kick once you are done with it, much like an adrenaline rush. Writing anything more about the book’s story will impact reader’s fun. Though one can still find detailed narrative of the book on Wikipedia (with whom certain section of people have huge issues).
Reading this book can become laborious at times as it became for me. However the ending made me sure that it was worth reading it and now I understand why Salman Rushdie says that it is “The greatest novel Written in any language in the last fifty years”.
This book I will keep with me always. I look forward to read other works of Gabriel García Márquez.