Now here is a very, very special book, one I admit to being somewhat hesitant to gift forward – it was such an absolute favourite of Mum’s. However, after she first read it in 1989, she bought me a copy and sent it to me in Australia, and I know that copy is still in the family, so here goes!
Do you enjoy spectacular, Nobel Prize winning prose? Love magical realism as a style of writing? Are you a connoisseur of eccentric, flamboyant characters? And are you prepared to dive into a world populated by generations of them, many of whom, confusingly at times, have the same names? Well, this is The Book for you.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who died in 2014, was a prolific Columbian writer, and this is his landmark 1967 novel about the Buendia family, whose patriarch, Jose Arcadio Buendia, founded the fictional town of Macondo in Colombia. He is a master of outstandingly beautiful sentences – the very first line is in itself captivating in my opinion… ‘Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice’. I remember that he caught me hook, line and sinker with that one!
It is definitely not an ‘easy read’. The family are disturbingly insane – one eats dirt, another comes back from the dead. There is a plague of contagious insomnia, and a disturbing spot of pedophilia, be warned. You won’t race through it – it requires slow and careful reading to truly appreciate and enjoy it.
But if you can read like that, then I promise you, you will love it. And if you do, look for ‘Love in the time of Cholera’…which I think is even better…
As always, if you would like this copy, just message me here or through the Facebook page, and if you have already read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts !