Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This book had been recommended from so many sources and it’s even won the author a Nobel Prize — but I’m sorry to say that it did not impress me. On the contrary, I felt it was work to read this book. In fact, I could not wait to finish it in order to move onto something more engaging.
I will grant that the author has a great imagination and that his writing is very lyrical. He goes about describing this love story in a very detailed, sometimes poetic and sometimes graphic prose. He does create imagery that is vivid and stark. Unfortunately, there is really not much substance to the story and a great deal of it does not make much sense, in my mind. It is the story of a man who falls in love with a young girl, really from a distance, and they begin this love affair all with letters. They have not met even once directly and have not had a single conversation. When they finally are able to get together, she decides just in a split second that no, she really isn’t in love with him and it’s all over for her. For him, on the other hand, it is not over and he pledges his love to her in his mind. He lives his whole life in waiting for her even as she continues living her life without him.
I guess I’m just a realist and feel, as I did with Romeo and Juliette, that a lasting, true love cannot be founded on a glance or an image of someone and that it has to grow from really knowing the person. And since the premise of the book is based on such a dreamer’s fallacy, I think the whole book is something of a farce. More importantly, the story gets a bit lost in the quagmire of details that the author heaps upon the reader. There is also a paucity of dialogue, and I love hearing what a character actually has to say.
All in all, I was sorely disappointed and would not recommend this book, in spite of its auspicious awards!