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.