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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: #28,811 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

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.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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frida on Dec 30 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I begin with an admitted bias as Márquez is my favourite author.

This was an absolutely awesome read! This epic love story that spans decades. It's impossible to capture it's brilliance and to really express what it is about. In today's time and age, 'love story' carries a connotation that isn't really fitting for this book, but I hope 'epic' captures this.

What's most brilliant about Márquez is how he vividly captures the imagination and leads you into this world, where you feel that you are living the lives of the characters and you learn about them. In this manner, you also learn a lot about your own life and human nature in general, which makes his work powerful.

Furthermore, in describing these lives from mundane details to the extraordinary, he weaves in a subtle social commentary regarding such diverse topics as gender relations, race, class, politics. The thing that strikes me the most about this is that he does this all without becoming 'preachy' but in the subtlest fashion.

It leaves you with a sense of the power of love, a love that is currently not in fashion, but also with the sense that the Caribbean and Latin American in general is constantly ravaged by war, disease, and corruption that continues unabated for almost a century.
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