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One Hundred Years of Solitude: Popular Penguins Paperback – 29 June 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 2,793 ratings

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Product description

About the Author

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born on 6 March 1927 in Aractaca, Colombia, and died on 17 April 2014 in Mexico City, aged 87.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 for a body of work that includes novels, works of non-fiction and collections of short stories.

His most famous works include Leaf Storm (1955), In Evil Hour (1962), One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), The Autumn of the Patriarch(1975), Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981), Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), The General in His Labyrinth (1989), News of a Kidnapping (1996), Living to Tell the Tale (2002) and Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004).

'Marquez writes in this lyrical, magical language that no-one else can do.' Salman Rushdie

'Marquez is a retailer of wonders.' Sunday Times

'An exquisite writer, wise, compassionate and extremely funny.' Sunday Telegraph

'An imaginative writer of genius.' Guardian

'The stories are rich and startling, confident and eloquent. They are magical.' John Updike

'One of this century's most evocative writers.' Anne Tyler<


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin (General UK); 1st edition (29 June 2009)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0141045639
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0141045634
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 11 x 3.1 x 18 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 2,793 ratings

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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2,793 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

P. G. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars We all die alone, but there's alot of life before that
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 April 2018
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77 people found this helpful
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Atul Kumar Singh
4.0 out of 5 stars A magical and confusing rollercoaster
Reviewed in India on 23 February 2019
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4.0 out of 5 stars A magical and confusing rollercoaster
Reviewed in India on 23 February 2019
Wow! Did I just finish it? Yes, I did!

It was definitely like dreaming about a distant town called ‘Macondo’, with weird characters, all of them having similar names, making the read a bit difficult. I had to keep referring the family hierarchy given in the beginning to comprehend what’s going on and with whom!

So this was my first novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I picked it up because someone told me that he’s way too good, even much better than Murakami, when it comes to magical realism (I doubt this one though). Anyway, not getting into any comparisons. The tale is about a remote village called Macondo, and the family of Jose Arcadio Buendia, and his wife Ursula. The storyteller takes you through multiple generations of this family, with distinct and weird characters. Peculiar thing is, everyone is having similar two names, so half the time you’re confused what’s going on and with whom exactly. After a while, you get used to it though. So there’s some who makes gold fishes, some girl who eats dirt, gypsies with flying carpets, a man with super human strength, butterflies accompanying a guy, a blind woman who can see way too much, a woman who makes prophecies through cards and what not!

This is a book, that would take you through a dream world, where logic and realism would be defied, and you would witness something magical, something supernatural. I would put Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the league of Haruki Murakami. This kind of literature is definitely different.

‘Magical Realism’ is a fantasy style of writing where magical stuff, unbelievable things, - they happen as part of the daily routine. And such things are so seamlessly mixed with other occurrences, that it is not even pointed out, it just kind of mixes in. Some instances of Magical Realism in the book –
- Gypsies – they have flying carpets
- A woman, so beautiful, that men just get wasted in front of her
- A man has super human strength, and an appetite of multiple men
- A man has 17 sons, from different women, who arrive at his home at the same day
- A man living tied to a chestnut tree for 20 years
- A blind woman, who can see much better than others through her sense
- A woman making accurate prophecies about others
- A woman making her own shroud
- There are many many more examples of course

At a point, you feel there’s no real story. It’s just a family, and you’re just reading about them generation after generation, new children keep getting born or are brought to the house, and they get added to the family. They grow up, and you start reading about them. This continues through multiple generations. However, each character has a distinct story to tell, but the story itself is short lived and you move on to some other character. Hence, you get a long narrative style story where you keep touching different characters, and where the ‘Buendia’ family becomes the main character, and everyone else becomes secondary. This was my first reading experience of ‘Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ and I would say I enjoyed it. I won’t say it’s the best book or story I’ve ever read, but it definitely had its own charm. If you like magical realism or want to read such literature, I would recommend this book to you.

For others, I would also tell why you should NOT pick this book. If you’re looking for light entertaining reads, this one is not for you. The characters (And so many of them) are complex, with similar names. Half the time, you’ll be scratching your head and returning to the hierarchy tree, to figure what’s going on.
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102 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, peculiar and brilliantly done
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 February 2018
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Alex
3.0 out of 5 stars It feels like you've been reading for 100 years
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 September 2018
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Thanagma (book-reader)
2.0 out of 5 stars More effort than enjoyment in reading this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 August 2020
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