100 Years of Solitude (Read: Boooring!)

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100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

I just don’t get it!

What am I missing?  I have read thousands of books in my life and this one did nothing for me.  How could 500 pages of boring win a Nobel Prize?!

I finished this book and breathed a sigh of relief and thought to myself, what a huge waste of my time.

I guess that’s not entirely true.  The waste of time part.  Reading isn’t a waste of time.  You always learn something;  whether that be a bit more of a certain culture, society, time period, grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, etc.

But, halfway through this book, at about 240 pages, I was wondering when this would end and whether or not anything worth reading about would ever turn this book around.

So, this attitude towards the book begs the question, “What didn’t I get?”.   Because this book is a Nobel Prize Winner, considered one of the classics, on hundreds of must-read lists, part of Oprah’s Book Club selections, and received accolades from the New York Times Book Review deeming it a “masterpiece of the art of fiction”.

Maybe it’s me?  But I would say don’t bother.  If you haven’t been assigned this book in high school or college English, then don’t bother to read it.

In a nutshell:  It’s a story about a mythical town in the Caribbean and this one family within it who struggles with insanity, incest, the solitude of humanity, and humankind’s comedies and tragedies.  (And apparently it takes you through Colombian history through the eyes of this crazy, doomed family.  Perhaps this is why the book is difficult to appreciate because it’s a context thing, where if you don’t have knowledge about Colombian history, it’ll be over your head. ) But it takes the author 500 pages to say what I just did in a sentence and that one sentence I just wrote is more interesting than the thousands that comprise this book!  A convoluted plot, nothing suspenseful, and so many characters with the same names…

This book was loooong, booooooring, and the only thing I underlined in the entire thing is that “the secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude”.

And there you go…

next book please!

 

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