Monday, December 27, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 50

I should have posted this book last week, but Christmas took over my life briefly. I have 5 days to read my last 2 books – hope I make it.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez was an interesting book. My initial reaction was that I disliked it. But having had time to think about it and digest it, I have come to the conclusion that there are parts of it that I like.

This is a love story that takes place in South America during a cholera epidemic. The cholera is not the central part of the story. The story is about a young girl and boy that fall in love. They pledge to be married and then the girl changes her mind. She ends up marrying a rich doctor and the boy grows up vowing never to lose his love for the girl. In fact he decides to wait until her husband dies. He waits for more than 50 years. In the meantime she has seemingly forgotten him.

During his 50 year wait, he becomes very promiscuous as a way to remove the pain of rejection from his life. The book follows his many trysts and there some funny moments throughout.

At the end, the doctor dies and the boy and girl {now old} are able to reconnect. The "boy" is able to convince the "girl" to love him even though she once scorned him.

I am not sure if I would recommend this book, but it was an interesting story.

Excerpts from the book:
She prayed to God to give him at least a moment so that he would not go without knowing how much she had loved him despite all their doubts, and she felt an irresistible longing to begin life with him over again so that they could say what they had left unsaid and do everything right that they had done badly in the past.

...the heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.

...his heart revealed to him that he and this man, whom he had always considered his personal enemy, were victims of the same fate and shared the hazards of a common passion; they were two animals yoked together. For the first time in the interminable twenty-seven years that he had been waiting, Florentino Arizo could not endure the pangs of grief at the thought that this admirable man would have to die in order for him to be happy.

It was as if they had leapt over the arduous calvary of conjugal life and gone straight to the hearts of love. They were together in silence like an old married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion: beyond love. For they had lived together long enough to know that love was always love, anytime and anyplace, but it was more solid the closer it came to death.

...he looked at Florentino Arizo, his invincible power, his intrepid love, and he was overwhelmed by the belated suspicion that it is life, more than death, that has no limits.

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