Title: Love in the Time of Cholera
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Published: 1988 Pages: 348
Genre: Literary Fiction
In Short (and overly romanticized): Boy (Florentino) falls in love with girl (Fermina), but they are not to be. Boy grows into man and girl marries another (Urbino); man yearns for woman for the rest of his life.
Why I read: I read this one for a book club meeting, but I've had it on my shelf for years and had hoped to eventually get to it. I blame the movie Serendipity (and John Cusack) for my interest in this book.
Thoughts in General: I'm not going to lie--at the time I am drafting this post I still have twenty pages left. And I've had twenty pages left for two months. I do plan to read those twenty pages--I just don't have any drive to do it now, even though I've been carrying around this book in my purse for two months and would like to carry something else. If that doesn't say anything, I'm not sure what will. (and yes, I do know the ending).
Alright--I'll expound. I really enjoyed the process of reading this book--it was slow and tedious reading and I had to concentrate very closely on the words and sentences and paragraphs. Marquez continually moves in tangents and the entire book felt very fluid moving in and out of time and back and forth. I liked all of this--I liked diving in and really paying attention. Or maybe it's just been a really long time since I've found myself lost in a book.
But the characters are terrible! And despicable! And unbelievable! Really--I don't think there's a likeable character in this entire book (I did kind of like Leona but that's probably because she's the only one who didn't sleep with Florentino). And while I liked the fluidity of the book, it was hard to pick it up and put it down. And this book goes on forever! And there's a lot of talk about excrement and other icky things. I can hardly recommend this book without making that last sentence pretty clear.
Bottom Line: I'm on the fence and I think my book club was on the fence. There were a few people who didn't have interest in reading this one, a few people who refused to read it, a few people who hated every second they were reading, and then those who... well, I don't know about those others. I maintain that I liked this book, but I can't come up with any really concrete reasons of why. The biggest question we debated during our book club discussion (which was really heated and passionate, by the way), was whether this book was really about love. I sure hope so. Otherwise what was the point?
Have you read Love in the Time of Cholera? Do you think this is a love story?