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Love in the Time of Cholera (Oprah's Book Club) Paperback – Oct 5 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (Oct. 5 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307389731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307389732
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2 x 20.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The ironic vision and luminous evocation of South America that have distinguished Garcia Marquez's Nobel Prize-winning fiction since his landmark work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, persist in this turn-of-the-century chronicle of a unique love triangle. It is a fully mature novel in scope and perspective, flawlessly translated, as rich in ideas as in humanity. The illustrious and meticulous Dr. Juvenal Urbino and his proud, stately wife Fermina Daza, respectively past 80 and 70, are in the autumn of their solid marriage as the drama opens on the suicide of the doctor's chess partner. Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, a disabled photographer of children, chooses death over the indignities of old age, revealing in a letter a clandestine love affair, on the "fringes of a closed society's prejudices." This scenario not only heralds Urbino's demise soon afterwhen he falls out of a mango tree in an attempt to catch an escaped parrotbut brilliantly presages the novel's central themes, which are as concerned with the renewing capacity of age as with an anatomy of love. We meet Florentino Ariza, more antihero than hero, a mock Don Juan with an undertaker's demeanor, at once pathetic, grotesque and endearing, when he seizes the memorably unseemly occasion of Urbino's funeral to reiterate to Fermina the vow of love he first uttered more than 50 years before. With the fine detailing of a Victorian novel, the narrative plunges backward in time to reenact their earlier, youthful courtship of furtive letters and glances, frustrated when Fermina, in the light of awaking maturity, realizes Florentino is an adolescent obsession, and rejects him. With his uncanny ability to unearth the extraordinary in the commonplace, Garcia Marquez smoothly interweaves Fermina's and Florentino's subsequent histories. Enmeshed in a bizarre string of affairs with ill-fated widows while vicariously conducting the liaisons of others via love poems composed on request, Florentino feverishly tries to fill the void of his unrequited passion. Meanwhile, Fermina's marriage suffers vicissitudes but endures, affirming that marital love can be as much the product of art as is romantic love. When circumstances both comic and mystical offer Fermina and Florentino a second chance, during a time in their lives that is often regarded as promising only inevitable degeneration toward death, Garcia Marquez beautifully reveals true love's soil not in the convention of marriage but in the simple, timeless rituals that are its cement. 100,000 first printing; first serial to the New Yorker; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

While delivering a message to her father, Florentino Ariza spots the barely pubescent Fermina Daza and immediately falls in love. What follows is the story of a passion that extends over 50 years, as Fermina is courted solely by letter, decisively rejects her suitor when he first speaks, and then joins the urbane Dr. Juvenal Urbino, much above her station, in a marriage initially loveless but ultimately remarkable in its strength. Florentino remains faithful in his fashion; paralleling the tale of the marriage is that of his numerous liaisons, all ultimately without the depth of love he again declares at Urbino's death. In substance and style not as fantastical, as mythologizing, as the previous works, this is a compelling exploration of the myths we make of love. Highly recommended. Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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IT WAS INEVITABLE: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 16 1998
Format: Hardcover
Filled with superfluous details, meant to paint a picture, but in the end only getting in the way. Dialog is for the most part non-existent, so beware when you make the 300+ page treck. The problem with this book is first and foremost, many episodes are unconvincing, such as Florentino loosing his virginity to a stranger in the dark on the ship. Yeh right! And even worse not being able to recognize her the next day. Not even being able to remember her scent?! I would have stop reading then had it not been for the 15 skins I shelled out (based on the outside cover reviews). Also for an artist/poet who read romantic fiction, he seemed to enjoy screwing without any intimacy. (The author cannot seem to write about it with much intimacy either, trying to sound literate but ending up sounding only vulgar). What turned me off is when he deflowered the 14 year old girl. Most readers, overlook this fact when they weep at the end. I guess he's only human, but then, so is she. If Bill Clinton were to carry on as such, these same readers would have his head. We never really get into either Florentino or Fermina's head. We never really know how Fermina makes him feel, or what it is about her that drives him. All we know is that he vomits a lot. We don't even know what is written in the LETTERS!!! Perhaps the author is incapable of writing a love letter. This is a very superficial book with many characters we will never care about. It is sad towards the end. "I remained a virgin for you". What did this mean? He remained a virgin in his soul? Oooh, heavy! (But then, he says it so convincingly, it had to have meant something!) The only redeeming quality is knowing that eventually we are all going to smell like vinegar. And in the words of BTO, "Any love is good love, so I took what I could get.." Words to live by.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kenny G. on Nov. 26 2007
Format: Paperback
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera is an epic love story, notable as much for its romanticism as for its unflinching gaze towards the vagaries of love's many faces. For those who scoff at or discard the literary love story, paradoxically, this is the book for you. Set in the seductive Caribbean during the mid-nineteenth century, Marquez's novel explores love in all its manifestations, from the vertigo of idolatry to the dirty dishes of marriage, and his portraits resonate exquisitely for anyone who has nursed this human inkling. Marquez never cheapens love nor falsifies it; on the contrary, he sees love's glory, or lack thereof, with an unerring eye. His portrait of marriage between his two protagonists, Dr. Juvenal Urbino and Fermina Daza, includes such observations such as "The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast." Interestingly, Marquez reveals an astute viewpoint towards the female predicament in marriage: Fermina Daza realizes she is nothing more to her husband than "a deluxe servant;" she feels she is trapped in his "holy service." Nor is Marquez oblivious to the bland atrocities committed by a husband: Dr. Juvenal Urbino proclaims meals prepared "without love;" he never deigns to pick anything up, turn out a light, or close a door. Marquez is a man who observes without bias the diurnal stalemate of a marriage lived daily. He concludes that "nothing in this world was more difficult than love." Marquez does not limit himself to the domestic pitfalls of marriage. Florentino Ariza, another man who figures prominently in this incognito Caribbean city, has loved Fermina Daza inexorably for fifty-three years, seven months, and eleven days. His love is fervent and never falters.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By helen leung on June 12 2004
Format: Paperback
A simple story full of well-presented details, with sound, smell, colours and texture. Even you don`t believe in love, it worth the time and effort to go through it.
I can`t help but comparing Tomas of Unbearable lightness of being with Florentino. Tomas escape love in order to stay with lightness but at the end of his life he can`t get rid of Tereza; Florentino refrain himself from loving other for he believes his love is only for Fermina. They have slept with hundreds of women, good or bad, just for short-lived love and sex, and believe that fidelity is nothing to do with causal sex. I think it is a fantasy of man: The fate/destiny of a man is to have a woman who is his crowned goddness for spiritual love, and hundreds of sex mates for fullfiling of physical needs.
I just can`t accept Florentino, at his 76, fall in 'love' with a little girl only 14 years old and is under his guidance.
There are so many types of love in this book that sometimes you have to stop a while and ask yourself: Is it love? What is love?
I enjoy the book very much though in the middle of it the come and go of Florentino`s lovers are a bit bore and excessive. As a woman, sometimes I can`t quite follow Fermina`s thought because most of the women will not react like her did. She is a crowned goddess created by the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 2 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is the worst type of book; it starts brilliantly, with the premise and smell of unrequited love, but then it just dies. I felt such relief at finishing, not because- thank God- I know "what happens" but because in good conscience I can now put it away and not have that hankering orange cover staring up at me from my bedstand. I do not mean to suggest that it is a bad book. It is not. But it fails to deliver on its opening promise. And, we never get to know the characters in any capacity greater than their actions. I have no idea if I like or dislike any of the three main characters. In fact, I don't think I care because I couldn't recognize them walking down the street. I felt betrayed by this book. Why couldn't it have been better?
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