Monday, March 31, 2008

Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

love in the time of cholera
gabriel garcia marquez
c. 1985
386 pages

*may contain spoilers*

This was read for the Expanding Horizons Challenge (see sidebar).

First off, I was incredibly impressed with the writing style. The author's flow is so incredibly unique, transitioning from one anecdote to the next with such ease and grace, and documenting every thought, action, and character with such bizarre detail, detail (such as bowel movement problems and descriptions) that generally would have been left out of another novel, but instead give such insight into the lives of these characters. The author has such a unique voice, one that adds so much humor and life to his story.

With every page, I fell more and more in love with Florentino Ariza. His passion for life and love is both beautiful and heartbreakingly sad.

I was often confused with Fermina Daza's choices. She seems so often to be such a strong woman, so sure of hersel and her opinions, but I was thrown by the rapidness in which she could change her mind regarding the men in her life. She spent years pledging her enternal love and devotion to one man, and with one glance her mind is turned and she is done with him. She spends so much of her energy avoiding a despising one man, and in an instant she is accepting his proposals of marraige. I wish I could understand her thought process a little more.

I was glad that when they finally came together, it was not all of a sudden like another blaze of passion. It came about through months of constant friendship. It was only after they had spent time actually with each other that Fermina Daza knew that she was in love.

In comparison to the other three books I have read so far for the Expanding Horizons Challenge, there was one thing in particular that I noticed to be very different about this book. In the other three I read (Half of a Yellow Sun, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and The Saffron Kitchen), I found that the county in which the book place was so incredibly important to the story. Whether it was Nigeria, China, or Iran, the reader was so immersed in the history and the culture of that particular country. You never forgot what country you were reading about. You were always learning something new about the culture, something that made it unique. However, in Love in the Time of Cholera, I can't even tell you in which country this story took place. I'm guessing Columbia, seeing as that is where the author is from, but it never mentions it for sure. You know from names of people and descriptions of places that the setting is a Latin American country, but it's never really discussed. I just found it interesting that location was so central to the first three books I read, and then was not important at all to the progression of the story in this last book.

Two things I did not like about the book.......

I did not like the ending. I mean, I was so happy that they finally realized the love they shared, but I did not like the last page or so when they decided to spend the rest of their lives sailing up and down the river on the boat. it had such an element of un-reality that wasn't present in the rest of the book.

Also, I didn't like that the beginning had nothing to do with the rest of the book. And by that, I mean we spent so much time and energy discussing the suicide of Jeremiah and the betrayal Juvenal Urbino felt at his confessional letter, but then there's nothing more about their friendship. Urbino dies before a third of the book is over. I felt like (even though if you read the back of the book you know what the book is supposed to be about) one story was set up and then all of a sudden the author decided he wanted to tell a different story.



Melissa said...

I think readers of this one fall into two categories: you either love it or hate it. You seem to be more of the first... more encouragement for me to eventually get around to reading it. Someday.

Veronica said...

Oh, it's absolutely one I would reccomend. For the most part I thought it was great. Really just those two little annoyances, the very beginning and the very end.

adam brown said...
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adam brown said...
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