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One Hundred Years Solitude [Hardcover]

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (495 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 25 1970

A best seller and critical success in Latin America, Europe, and the United States, One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of teh mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. It is a rich and billiant chronicle of life and death and the tragicomedy of man. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendia family one sees all mankind, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo one sees all of Latin America.

Love and lust, war and revolution, reiches and poverty, youth and senility--the variety of life, the endlessness fo death, the search for peace and truth--these, the universal themes, dominate the novel. Whether he is describing an affair of passion or the voracity of capitalism and the corruption of government, Garcia Marquez always writes with the simplicity, ease, and purity that are the mark fo a master. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, alive with unforgettale men and women, and with a truth and understanding that strike the soul, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a masterpiece of the art of fiction.

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"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

It is typical of Gabriel García Márquez that it will be many pages before his narrative circles back to the ice, and many chapters before the hero of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Buendía, stands before the firing squad. In between, he recounts such wonders as an entire town struck with insomnia, a woman who ascends to heaven while hanging laundry, and a suicide that defies the laws of physics:

A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta's chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.
"Holy Mother of God!" Úrsula shouted.

The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women--the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, Úrsula, is so moved that "the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house."

With One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez introduced Latin American literature to a world-wide readership. Translated into more than two dozen languages, his brilliant novel of love and loss in Macondo stands at the apex of 20th-century literature. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Two modern giants (LJ 2/15/70 and LJ 11/1/61, respectively) join Knopf's venerable "Everyman's Library." If you've been searching for quality hardcovers of these two eternally popular titles, look no further.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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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. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping May 31 2009
This book is a terrific example of Marquez's magical realism. Moves quickly and captures your attention; don't pick this book up if you have something to do, it is very difficult to put down. I read it more than once, you see a different perspective each time!

Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masterfully Woven Words Dec 12 2009
Gabriel weaves his words like a master. His words are like a warm blanket on a cold day. I enjoyed the literary art of this book very much but didn't enjoy the story line. The book is about numerous generations of the Buendia family; their struggles, their triumphs, their strengths, their weaknesses. There were many interpersonal struggles; between the family members as well as between the family and the society they live in. Personally, it wasn't that interesting to me at all. However, I read on because of the skill and passion in which this book is written. Gabriel Marquez sews words together as a master painter shades colours and creates dimension on a canvas.
If you enjoy true literature as well as history and human relationships, I think you would thoroughly enjoy this book. If you love literature, even if the story sounds boring (which I found it to be a bit) it is worth the read, if only to see a master in action.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely depressing Dec 19 2003
This book should be on your list of must-read great books. It is a long and elaborate story of unrequited love, family, and loneliness. However wonderful, it is almost morbidly depressing so for your own mental health read it when you feel strong!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 100 Years of Absolute Torture! Aug. 7 1999
By A Customer
This book is long, dull, boring and confusing. It lacks the passion that makes Love in The Time of Cholera so beautiful. It make "Tess of the D'Urburvilles" look like a fast-paced romp. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One Hundred Years of Solitude" is a compelling if challenging read. It overflows with creativity, history, magic, and characters with the same names. Yes, there are many Jose Arcadios, even more Aurelianos and more than one Amaranta in the same family, often at the same time. But, once one makes use of the character genealogy at the beginning it is not to hard to keep track of the respective characters.

What makes 100 years such a compelling read is its incredible blending of the fantastical with realism. Marquez blends detailed accounts of absolutely impossible events with equally detailed accounts of completely plausible or historically known events with such equanimity of importance as to make them indistinguishable to the plot. And it works. Works better than anything written before or since that has had the label Magic Realism attached to it.

The reason that this novel is so successful is threefold. First, his characters are completely charismatic, as is his writing, you will find yourself with an undeniable affection for the story from the end of the first chapter on, I guarantee it. Second, the aspects of the story brushed with magic, fully half of the novel, are perfectly done, magical happenings emerging out of everyday circumstances and being reabsorbed into everyday life fluidly and seamlessly. Third, the cutting realism of the story, accurate down to the detail balances the whimsical.

A novel not to be missed, with a great ending and a wealth of well crafted circumstances written in prose that makes the heart wrenching as compelling as the beautiful, and makes the hundred year history of the Buendia family of Macondo one of the most rewarding reads available.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm..... March 17 2004
As I read the first third of the book, I kept having to go back to try and figure out which of the Jose's (there are MANY - half of the characters have the same name, it seems) was being discussed in each section. It was extremely frustrating - but I kept on going.
In the middle of the book I stopped trying to pay any attention to who was who and just read each anecdote as if it stood on it's own - congratulating myself when I recognized the character from previous events.
At the last - I finally started to know and care about the characters and really appreciate the beautiful images and the intense feelings and situations that make up "100 Years of Solitude". (By this time, I was also determined to finish it because my sister assured me that the ending was satisfying.)
It was satisfying - to the point that the final chapters made me flip back to the beginning of the book and read parts over again. Still, I can't give this book the rave reviews that the critics and fans of Gabriel Garcia give it - there were just too many Jose's.
I suppose that makes me a lazy reader, which is probably true. Still, the ending made me wistful that I had been half as involved with this long lived, passionate and magical family from the beginning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, timeless. Feb. 16 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first read this book in my early teens. At that time I was enthralled. It is a complete epic. Beautiful, with many lessons for our current times too - esp in the last lines. When I re-read the book, while the magic of my first reading is gone, the last lines still give me that ah to hmmm feeling. Since the first book that I owned I have bought it for numerous friends. It should be essential reading for all in schools. Whether you like it or not, it is a complete novel and covers so many aspects of humanity. Must read.
On another note, I especially visited Baracoa, the place that Macondo is claimed to be modelled on. Dont know if that claim is true, or whether it was my imagination, but it did feel a wee bit eerie being there.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Begins with one of the most well-known sentences in modern ...
Begins with one of the most well-known sentences in modern fiction, and proceeds to astonish with word play of rare elegance, a consistent pleasure.
Published 9 days ago by Michael Chiasson
1.0 out of 5 stars The condition of the book was terrible!!!
For this reason I will not read this copy. I hope Amaxon will send me a better copy. Otherwise , it was purchase for nothing.
Published 6 months ago by Zoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Being from Venezuela originally, this novel was a compulsory read in High School. Back then I hated it and never even got to read half of it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Cape Bretoner
5.0 out of 5 stars A Whole Lot of Solitude
I really enjoyed the book. Whether it is 100 years of Buenida family history spread over 500 pages, it flows very nicely. Read more
Published 16 months ago by ITS
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
I just finished this book for the second time, and for the second time, I was blown away by this book.
Published 16 months ago by Chantale
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book.
Amazing story, great book. is the most amazing book I have ever read. I now know why Gabriel García Marquez deserved the nobel.
Published 17 months ago by Ursula-Buendía
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
I enjoyed reading it! It is a bit long but very well written! One of the best by Gabriel Garcia Marquez!
Published 19 months ago by Moondrops
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible to read
I like books to have a point but couldn't find it in this one in spite of sincere searching. Maybe fantasy realism just isn't for me but how did this book ever get on "must read"... Read more
Published 23 months ago by tjw
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of reading time!
I persevered but really???? This book was recommended to me, I'm a pretty avid reader and thought I totally wasted valuable reading time. Read more
Published on July 16 2012 by Maxmarmik
5.0 out of 5 stars Literature in its Finest Form
Brilliant!! This is by far one of the best novels I have ever read. Illuminating, amusing, soulful, melancholic, adventurous, heartbreaking,and ecstatic, this books draws you... Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2011 by Aaron Donnelly
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