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Book Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Me + gingham + book
     Sex and solitude.  This book primarily occupies itself with these topics.  Not that I mind, of course - both are interesting, and Marquez does it so well.
     Solitude chronicles several generations of a family, the Buendias, living through political unrest, wars, and technological advancements in an unnamed South American country.  Each family member's life and character is precisely and tenderly captured.  This careful character-building impressed me because there are so many family members.  But attention is paid to practically every aunt, relation-by-marriage, adopted daughter, illegitimate son, concubine, and parent.  I loved all of them.  Additionally, I love the book's magical realism style.  It gives the story new and enchanting depth - for example, yellow butterflies cling to one character, and another is pursued by the cloc-cloc-cloc sound of her parents' bones.
     Returning to the topics I mentioned earlier, the story seems to deal particularly with the ways in which sex and solitude intersect.  Unrequited love, taboo love, illusory love, faded love, and hollow lust all appear on Solitude's pages (often between two members of the Buendia family).
     I loved this book for its fearless exploration of taboo subjects.  We fear isolation and desire, we are ashamed of these feelings, but great writers know that shameful, forbidden topics are the ones that deserve to be discussed.

     - Carly

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