Something extraordinary happened to me. I did not finish One Hundred Years of Solitude! Now why would this be? Here’s the thing… I always finish a book, even if it’s boring. I would force myself to finish the book, because I don’t like to abandon a book. If I do, I will come back to the book later and continue reading, so this is a first for me.
I have heard good things about this book by a Nobel prize winning author, Gabriel García Márquez. I’ve bought the book on a whim a few months ago, and when I joined the Classics Club, it was only natural I’d add it to my list. So when Isi had to read this one for her classics club spin, I’ve decided to read it with her. There was various emails going back and forth between Isi and myself complaining about how boring the story was etc. She ended up finishing the book, and so eloquently described the book in her review as “One hundred years of boredom, in my opinion” 😉
The book is actually a family saga that tells the story about a mythical town, called Macondo. There lives the Buendía family which includes the mother Ursula, who grows up to be over 100 years old and still takes care over all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and never tires. Whether she dies at the end of the book, I wouldn’t know. The father of the family, Jose Arcadia Buendí – first generation, goes crazy after he killed a friend and the ghost of the man haunts him so they tie him up under a tree where he sits and desiccate for years.
The reason I have for not being interested in the story is that it confuses me and the story line of the characters are not particularly interesting. The sons and grandsons all seem to have the same name. The same, or the names swapped around. There are 4 Jose Arcadia Buendís and 20 Aureliano Buendís. Now a confusing book does not intimidate me, because I love a story that makes me think as I’m an inquisitive reader. I have made notes and drawn pictures while reading, many a times. The problem here is I didn’t follow the story, because it didn’t grab my attention, but I also think my expectation was too high. There was a few chuckles along the line, such as Arcadia and Sofia’s “scandalous honeymoon”…
So after finishing the book that I abandoned this one for, I read about 40 pages and abandoned it yet again… for a few other books! I eventually decided that I must finish this book, I have to! So I picked it up again, and I couldn’t remember half the things that happened in the 220 pages of the book that I did read. This now meant that I had to start from scratch so I emailed Isi, and texted my friend Rean and told them: “I can’t anymore. I JUST CAN’T”. I convinced myself that I’m “not getting it” and called myself dumb. Which I am not.
I am not giving up though. I’m going to read this book. Not now, but later. The classics club challenge is 5 years, I have more than enough time to grow up and maybe when I’m older, I will enjoy the book more.
Have you read it? Was it love or hate?
Have you ever NOT finished a book, and which book was it?
PS: I’m not submitting this to the classics club, because I will read this and write a review. I will, I will, I will (my mantra)