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Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Hundred Years of Solitude

A hundred years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated from

Ok. i'm shallow. i was prompted to read the book after Oprah touted it on 1 of her shows, and that one of her celeb friends claimed that it changed her life.

so i seeked it out, and took almost 2 months, snatching moments while waiting/ riding the train, taxi or down time (what down time?).

and i finished it recently. and i was like, "huh? that's it? what does it mean? what was the point? was there a moral of the story? what did i learn?"

in the end, i realised i was cheated. it was probably a revolution when it was first published in the 1960s in Mexico. a story about the birth, life and death of a whole clan of family, together with their incests, beastiality, magic, curiosity, people with the same names over the various generation and suffering the same strange afflictions of withdrawal, violence and selfishness. Men and women who grew to over 100 years old, virgin who ascended to heavens, jealously, war, politics, adventure, love and curses. Lots of things going on, and with the tales interwoven and told in a non-literal time line in a tangled mass where some people's fates where told in the beginning, and the beginning was in the middle. Made worst with pp from the different generation sharing the exact same name or nick name, (there were no less than 20 Aurelianos and and 8 Arcadios, not to mention the girls) no wonder there was a family tree in the front cover of the book.

And at THE END, you realise that the book you are reading was supposedly the book that the last of the line was translating as death befell him as foretold in the book he was holding.

good grief. that's IT?

darn waste of time.

made worst by my having persevered and finished it.

other readers say that this book continues from where Genisis left off and a history of from then till now blah blah blah.

nah. over-rated.


Frankly I find that some of the books that Oprah recommended are way over-rated.

While on one hand I try not to think of it as a form of commercialised recommendations by her with some strings attached but some of the books are really weird to be mentioned at all.

One thing for sure, whatever books that are in get high sales almost immediately.
haha. i suppose "A Hundred Years of Solitude" is kinda extreme. Either you'll love it or HATE it. I hated it at first read, but ask me again in 5 years.

as for Oprah's recommendation, i'll say she's got it right for "Night" by Elie Wiesel, about the Holocaust. I picked it from the Holocaust museum in NY and the hairs on the back of my neck tingled when i was reading it.

at least she doesnt just recommend the latest flavor of the month ;)
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