A Legend Has Passed: Gabriel García Márquez

The prolific author Gabriel García Márquez.
The prolific author Gabriel García Márquez.

Who can write a novel sans dialogue but so engaging it keeps you up at night? Who can weave a story so loopy that it spins you in dizzying circles? Who can create a place so mystic that you never doubt its reality? Who?

Gabriel García Márquez.

Gabriel García Márquez, one of the greatest writers of all time and one of the reigning champs on the top of my bookshelf where all favorite authors reside, has passed. He died Thursday, April 17, in Mexico City. He was 87.

And the book—One Hundred Years of Solitude, the first book I’ve read by García Márquez. I am amazed by García Márquez’s talent and his clarity in his observation of humanity. This novel depicts the progress of civilization. It is one of the greatest novels I have ever read and it has left a deep impression on me. One Hundred Years of Solitude was my introduction to a profound artist and I am saddened to learn that he is gone.

May his soul now rest in peace.

 

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.
Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

I have always heard mention of García Márquez and his books are always recommended to me. At first I shied away from them thinking, as I always do, that since he is a literary novelist and most of his books are considered classics, his prose would be cumbersome and his plots a drag. One would think my mind would stop thinking this by now. I was pleasantly surprised, when I finally buckled down to read One Hundred Years of Solitude, that I enjoyed it and could hardly bear to tear my eyes away from the book to do other things. The story would haunt me throughout the day while I worked. I constantly wondered how the story would progress, how would it end, would I get confused by the cast of characters all bearing similar names? It was torture to be away from the book for too long.

I plucked One Hundred Years of Solitude off my bookshelf after reading a passage in Wonderbook (by Jeff VanderMeer) that states One Hundred Years of Solitude is a story written without dialogue. I found that amazing and wanted to experience such a story. I wondered if such a novel would be dreadfully boring. After all, many times dialogue is used to speed the story along or simply to give the reader a break from stacks of paragraphs or to showcase other facets of the characters. Like in Robert Jordan‘s Wheel of Time series where the characters often interject certain aphorisms and similes in their conversations that reveal who they are and where they’re from. For example, Siuan Sanche, the Amyrlin Seat, is from Tear and is the daughter of a fisherman so she often uses aphorisms and similes that include boats, nets, and fish.

Continue reading “A Legend Has Passed: Gabriel García Márquez”

Another Party at Gatsby’s

I wasn’t excited when I first heard that The Great Gatsby was being made into a movie. That was last year. I had no intentions of seeing it and thoughts of re-reading the book was far from my mind. I didn’t even consider listing it on my Classics Challenge book list. That all changed a few weeks ago when I saw Iron Man 3. While waiting for the movie to start, sporting my 3D glasses over my prescribed lenses, I watched a preview of Gatsby. Being in a good mood, I got caught up in the music for the movie and the glimpses of glitz that await those who choose to watch. But what really pulled me in was the party scene. After a brief glimpse of that scene, I decided that I wanted to watch the movie so I could vicariously live through those who attended Gatsby’s massive parties.

I hate watching the movie version of a book prior to reading the book since parts are usually left out and the movie version is usually a poor remake (except The Princess Bride.) So I decided to re-read The Great Gatsby. I loathed doing this at first since I hated the book when I first read it in high school. I did not understand the story, I could not relate to the characters, and I found it hard to believe that anyone could consider it a “Great American Novel.” To my teenage self, The Great Gatsby did not define all that America is or was so it shouldn’t be considered a “Great American Novel.” (I still think so.)

But this time I’m older so maybe, I thought, the book would not be a total bore. And it wasn’t! First of all, I read an old copy of the book. A copy that was published in 1925 (it’s my dad’s friend’s of a friend’s). Anyway, I found this to be totally cool simply because the book is old and falling apart and was published in 1925. Silly, I know, but I was thrilled by these irrelevant details. Old books are always cool except when you find droppings in them or a spider crawls out.

Continue reading “Another Party at Gatsby’s”