One Hundred Years of Solitude

Paperback | February 21, 2006

byGabriel Garcia Marquez

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One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women -- brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul -- this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women -- brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul -- this novel is a mas...

Gabriel García Márquez was born in 1927 in the town of Aracataca, Columbia.Latin America's preeminent man of letters, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. García Márquez began his writing career as a journalist and is the author of numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novelsThe Autumn of the Pa...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1 inPublished:February 21, 2006Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060883286

ISBN - 13:9780060883287

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Customer Reviews of One Hundred Years of Solitude


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Challenging and Ripe for a Re-Read I fear that giving anything less than a full five stars to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magnum opus is to invite the ire of the entirety of the literary community upon my head. With that said, I think that One Hundred Years of Solitude is a close as you can get to a perfect novel. Those statements may seem fairly contradictory, so let me explain. One Hundred Years of Solitude is not an easy read, but it certainly is a beautiful one. Marquez's prose is crafted with such care that anyone would be a fool to suggest he is anything less than a master of language. What's more, the hundred years over which this novel transpires are filled with characters who live a wide swath of human experience. There is love, romance, sorrow, violence, academia, humour, and much more represented within these 400 pages. Though the dialogue throughout is fairly sparse, Maconodo is brought to vivid life through not only the physical description of the town, but through the enterprises, schemes, and people who live in the swamps of Colombia. A quick visit to the book's Wikipedia page let me know that this novel has been the subject of academic interest, which comes as no surprise after having finished my read. But here's the thing: this book can be a real challenge to follow. No sentence is without meaning, and characters can drop out of the book by sudden death or disappearance in a single sentence. The naming, which I am sure many fellow readers have noted, are generational variations on Jose Arcadio, Aureliano, Amaranta, Ursula, etc. Though I had a pretty good grip on the genealogy for the first half of the book, I became confused somewhere along the way. I had to frequently turn to the family tree at the front of the book to try and parse out which Aureliano I was reading about (NOTE: at one point there are 17+ Aureliano's running about Maconodo). One of the things I really did enjoy, is that this novel also fits well in my 2016 goal to read more international authors. This book is like no other I've read, and was a welcome distraction from the Canadiana I've been reading lately. With that said, the confusing nature of the book, the allegories, the metaphors, and sheer depth of the book's meaning, make it the ideal candidate for a re-read. I read this in a tandem read with one of my friends, and I kept reflecting that this is the type of book I wish I had read for a university course. I'll fully admit to thinking I was coming close to understanding the greatness of this novel, only to realize that I had been missing the forrest for the trees. I've read acclaimed books that I had no taste for, and I've read acclaimed books that I've really enjoyed. One Hundred Years of Solitude occupies some nebulous area in the middle, as I enjoyed parts, but felt unable to get a handle on its greatness. Much like Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a book I think I'll enjoy more on my second read through.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Something about this... Its weird, quirky, magical even. I'm not entirely certain that I understood the full breadth of what the author was trying to convey but there is something about this story that makes it quite a good read.
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I don't know Nice and boring at the time
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good It took me a long time to get into this book but I think if I read it again I would be able to pick up on a lot that I missed the first time. I know it's supposed to be a classic but this was one I found hard to get through.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One Hundred Years Of Solitude Magically spiritual! Reading this book was just wonderful!
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Abunance I leant this to a friend who called it "verbal diarrhea" - which is some ways sums up the flow of character, imagery, and life in this book. The only difference is I loved it, so perhaps I'd call it volcanic, or fertile, or fecund. It's no coincidence this book comes from the rain forest, because like everything there, there's just an over-abundance of everything here. Get caught up in the flow and go for the ride of a lifetime - or fight against it and drown.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Challenging but Haunting This book is a long read and at times difficult to get through. However, almost two years after I first read it I still often recall images from the book. A story so memorable is one well told, even if it requires patience.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from If you're thinking about reading it, change your mind I can't recall the reason why I wanted to read this book. A few pages into it, I asked myself this question every 5 minutes. It was a chore to finish. This book was a story of too many characters doing nothing. Or the characters were doing something I wasn't able to understand. Maybe something was lost in translation? It's a long, long narrative and oh is it ever so confusing. Don't read it. Just don't. 
Date published: 2014-03-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Classic or not, not worth the read I’m going to start this review by saying this: I absolutely hated One Hundred Years of Solitude and have no idea why it’s deemed a “classic.” Shh, quiet down. Let me defend myself. This was a book I had to read for my very first book club. Since it was already sitting on my shelf, collecting dust in its unread state, I thought it was great that the book club was reading it and I could finally take it off my TBR list. Well, I read it, but was not happy to do so. The novel starts off fine, great writing by Marquez, mapping out a magical scene. In fact, the first few pages are amazing to read. I was happy reading them—reading about the gypsies coming to Marcando, bringing normal everyday items that were deemed “magic.” It seemed like Marquez was mapping out the beginnings of what would be a fantastic book. Of course, the more I read it, the more I realized that this was a book that would not be in my “favourite reads” list. The entire book was confusing—is it to be read as realism? Fantasy? Fantastical-realism? Characters would die, but wouldn’t be dead; the word “solitude” is used way too many times; offspring had the same names which made being a reader confusing more than once. In fact, if I had to relate this book to one most recently released, I would say it’s similar to White Teeth, by Zadie Smith, though I liked White Teeth a whole lot more. There’s a story going on, people are multiplying, there are things happening, but there’s nothing going on that is so huge that makes you keep turning the page. You’re introduced to a lot of characters that just go about their days, doing nothing spectacular. It’s just one long narrative. One long narrative that I could barely stay awake reading (likewise for White Teeth, though at least with that one, I enjoyed the reading and wanted to take in every word. This one? Not so much.). If you’re like me, you’ll require something light and fluffy after reading this one. If you loved this book, then I commend you for gobbling down the pages like they were nobody else’s business but your own. Me personally, I plan to donate the book to the library or used book store. It’s not that special to me that I feel the urge to keep it around.
Date published: 2012-01-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Skip It I really wanted to like this book but sadly I didn't. It was long and boring and I had to force myself to continue reading it. I'm an avid reader but this book was just lost on me. I would not recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2012-01-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not worth the effort Though this novel effectively communicates the circular nature of time through the similarities of these family members as their line progresses, it was far too long-winded and seemed a bit overdone. Perhaps that's the fault of the translation, however I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone.
Date published: 2009-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a pleasure I was captivated by this book for years I just kept coming back to it. This book brings politics and realities of South America to life. It contains some of the most glorious prose ever written. Marquez is truly the greatest writer I have ever had the pleasure to get lost with.
Date published: 2009-03-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Take heed and make use of the family tree provided. Although there were moments that I felt I was on a bad acid trip soaring on a magic carpet over Incest Island, I relished in this enchanting tale of the beginnings of a civilization infused with wonderous magical realism. Garcia is a truly gifted artist who turns poetry into an intricately woven tale of a blood line of legend.
Date published: 2008-11-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quite interesting, yet kind of tiresome This book wasn't so bad after all.. The only thing is that at one point it seems like I had to push myself to read and keep reading.. because the story seems endlessly long and it seems as if never you will never finish the book. Sometimes it is hard to keep track of the events or the characters and it's quite easy to get confused, because their names are almost the same throughout the whole story and you might need to go back and read again in order to understand something.. I personally don't recommend this book, unless you have lots of time to be reading and patience to try to understand things clearly.
Date published: 2008-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from On "One Hundred Years of Solitude," by Gabriel García Márquez Magic, we are told, does not exist. It might seem to exist when we are children, but the belief in magic is discouraged as we navigate adolescence and forgotten in adulthood. Gabriel García Márquez, in his novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (1967,) has presented an opening to that forgotten magic - to that connection with the archetypal myth that is within each of us. The eccentricities and utter vastness of the Buendía family experience has a home in the collective mind of humanity. Their struggles, however exaggerated and bizarre, are somehow common and known. There is a sense of spiritual déja vu as the pages turn and the story moves. From the opening chapter, Márquez establishes as sense of kinship between the reader and the characters. The boy who would become Colonel Aureliano Buendía, along with his brother, José Arcadio, and father, also José Arcadio, visits the camp of Melquíades, a traveler who presents the scientific discoveries of the outside world to the secluded townsfolk of Macondo. As a chest opens and the Buendías witness, for the first time, what they perceive to be the miracle of ice, there is a sense of wonder in their reaction: “Little José Arcadio refused to touch it. Aureliano, on the other hand, took a step forward and put his hand on it, withdrawing it immediately. ‘It’s boiling,’ he exclaimed, startled.” Here is a voice for the magic of childhood. Here is the beauty of discovery and of experience. As I read these words I recalled that feeling of the absolute wonder of life, a sensation that we, as adults, too often deny ourselves in our pragmatic and overly-distracted society. Just as Márquez gives the reader joy and magic, he also gives sorrow. There is a sense of the heaviness of mortality in Macondo, though the characters, at times, seem to live beyond the typical age of humans. Later in his life, following years of war and fighting for what he discovers to be hollow ideals, Colonel Aureliano Buendía faces death. He discovers that he has lost all human connection, and with this comes the realization that he has lived a life devoid of true love. He surrenders, and with that submission the reader is left to feel as empty and lost as the character. From the innocent awe of childhood through the romance of youth and early adulthood to the melancholy remembrances of the aged, Márquez presents an act of fiction kindles a sense of common humanity within the reader. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” demonstrates, unequivocally, that we are not alone.
Date published: 2008-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful One of my favorite books ever!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fantastic journey through Macondo's history I must confess, the first time I tried to read this book I couldn’t finish, I got lost in the characters’ names which prevented me from really enjoying it, maybe I was too young or not so smart. Seven years later I tried again and was amazed. This is, so far, Gabriel García Marquez masterpiece and the most important book of its genre: magical realism, where mundane circumstances are mixed with supernatural occurrences and the characters involved tend to see the events as an annoyance, a setback. One hundred years of solitude is the story of the Buendía family and the village they found: Macondo. The story is full of absurd events which occur without explanations, in fact, nobody really tries to explain anything. They just go on. Many events are so farfetched that it is impossible not to laugh at the end. While reading the book, sometimes I would catch myself laughing like a madman. Filled with romance, tragedy, supernatural events and lovely characters this is a wonderful book which will left you amazed for a long time and, if you decide to go further, read “Living to Tell the Tale” the first volume of Gabriel’s autobiography. You’ll notice how a wonderful writer twists the reality and create a delightful story. Note: don’t let the names’ repetition worry you, they are part of the fun. In case you need help there is a Family Tree at the Wikipedia website.
Date published: 2007-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing Garcia Marquez' One hundred years of solitude is a fabulous book. At the beginning, one may find it somewhat difficult to remember all the characters (as most are all similarly named) yet once one gets into the book, one feels like part of the family. The book is full of magic and has one of the best, if not the, best ending ever.
Date published: 2006-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A seductive myth-history One Hundred Years of Solitude follows a family and a town through several generations of life, death and upheaval. The overwhealming strength of the novel is Marquez' seductive writing, drawing the reader closer and closer. I could not escape the sensation that I was a child sitting at the foot of a wise and wizened elder who was telling the story of our past. It was important to me, crucial, that I listen carefully and trust everything that was said. A myth in the fullest sense of the word, One Hundred Years of Solitude reads as an astonishingly adept personal myth-history and avoids the pitfalls of traditional narrative choices. Stunning in its originality and creativity, Marquez will no doubt have you buying his complete works.
Date published: 2006-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfection One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of those very rare novels that is written with such skill that you forget you are reading fiction, and start believing it is a history. The Buendia family that is the heart of this novel weaves its way throughout countless ages of humanity; magic makes way for science, before turning back again, as the history of the human species, replete with its loves and wars, the rebellions in both, and the truth of the human condition is explored with a poet's skill with words. Beautifully melancholy -- maybe the most perfect novel I've ever experienced.
Date published: 2006-06-30

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“The first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.”