One Hundred Years of Solitude is the history
of the isolated town
, focusing on the lives of the most prominent inhabitants of the town, the Buendía family.
This book, is an absolute pleasure to read. Garcia Marquez has you believing that daisies fall from the sky upon lovers, or that iguanas truly can gesticulate inside a woman's womb. It has become perhaps the most important book in the genre of contemporary literature known as magical realism.
This somewhat oxymoronic term pertinently suggests the fundamental thematic tension of the novel. In one way, One Hundred Years of Solitude is sensible in its approach. It does lend itself towards a type of poetic euphemism, yet it does not shrink back from portrayals of violence and sex. It also straightforwardly addresses complex political and social issues. The overall tone of the novel is matter of fact, with events portrayed bluntly, as though they had actually occurred. But into this generally realistic narrative Garcia Márquez has inserted magical elements that flout conventional realism. One incidence of this is when we witness Remedios the Beauty floating up to heaven rather than dying.
One Hundred Years of Solitude is, in a certain sense, a work of Biblical proportions. The novel conjures Macondo into being from its earliest Edenic days of innocence and traces it until its Apocalyptic end.
The major problem I had with with reading this book is that it is terribly tricky to keep track of who is who! We must keep continually flipping back to the family tree. My English teacher’s suggestion is to photocopy the family tree and keep it as a bookmark. Garcia Márquez made the very deliberate decision to give the Buendía members a very limited selection of names. The novel spans six generations, and in each generation the men of the Buendía line are named Jose Arcadio or Aureliano, and the women are named Ursula, Amaranta, or Remedios. It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between different people of the same name. Garcia Márquez' chose to do this to dramatize the way he saw history repeating itself in cycles. In this novel, each generation is condemned to repeat the mistakes and to celebrate the triumphs of the previous generation.
In order to get a grip on what’s happening then we have to hence pay fastidious attention to the full names of the protagonists, which often contain slight distinguishing variations.
Milla Jovovich absolutely adores this book. It is her ultimate favourite, she loves the "nuances between dreams and reality". If you look closely, you will see her holding a copy of the book in her movie The Million Dollar Hotel. She also improvised some parts from the story towards the end of the movie.