“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.”
One of the greatest literary achievements, this book is surely a must. I don’t like to praise such things too much, as when other people do it I get put off (I didn’t watch, listen to or read many good things because of this obstinacy). However, with this one I must insist. You see, this Book (with a capital B) is one of those that people should read. Set in the depths of time, in the Colombian forests, it tells the tale of seven generations of the Buendia family who founded the town of Macondo. It’s a life full of events: wars, disasters, miracles, obscenities, love, hate, death. It’s a full life. This one of only two books I have ever read twice (the other one to be reviewed here in the future). I usually adopt a ‘why read something twice when there’s so much you haven’t read?’ approach to life.
What makes this book special? Marquez’s ability to weave a tale of fiction, full of both truths and fiction itself, a magical web of natural and supernatural, normal, abnormal and paranormal, make it compulsory reading. Such a book could only have been written by a South American author. It carries the result of centuries of interaction between Europeans and natives, Christians and ‘heathens’ etc etc. From Rebeca’s earth-eating, to Jose Arcadio’s enormous tattooed body and Colonel Aureliano’s constant fight against the conservative government forces, the Book is full of promise, surprise and disappointment. I don’t want to give more away. Find it and read it. Now. And tell me what you think. I am expecting your response (friends, Romans and all the rest of it).