One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez follows the Buenida family through several generations in a village known as Macondo. It starts with Colonel Aureliano Buenida recalling a fond childhood memory as he faces a firing squad. This may well be the most enticing beginning in literature, but it is most definitely the most enticing first sentence in literature. The whereabouts of Macondo is never made clear and the time period remains unknown, leading to some confusion as one reads the book but ultimately I came to accept this as part of the fantasy of the book.

Through a whirlwind of poetic writing, the reader experiences gypsies, magic, war, peace and prosperity. Although the excitement of the advancing story stumbles badly at one point, my imagination was fired by the fantasy elements, and I was deeply absorbed in the fate of the characters as they journeyed through horrors, some ending in tragedy. characters as they journey through horrors some ending in tragedy.

Unfortunately the book seems to hit a wall in the middle when suddenly the story slows, and the characters become mostly uninteresting and annoying. I found myself asking “Why am I reading this?” and was tempted to put the book back on the shelf to attempt at a later date.

Hang in there reader. I’m glad I did. The last third of the book more than makes up for this. After slowly trudging along, unexpectedly I found myself captivated, emotionally re-invested in the characters, as the book picked up speed, and I was enticed back into the story until the very last sentence. All in all I gave this book four out of five stars. During the beginning and ending third I would’ve given it 5 out of 5 but during the middle I wanted to throw it across the room in disgust. In all seriousness though I strongly suggest that anyone who loves good writing, read this book, and force themselves through the middle for the reward at the end.

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