Just finished reading this masterpiece. Usually, I’m done with a book in a couple of weeks, but, for some reason, this one took 5 months. It’s not because the book is boring or too long. You see, some of the events that are described by Gabriel García Márquez are not that easy to absorb. You’ll need to think them through. The other thing that slowed me down was the amount and the names of main characters. The story is about seven generations of Buendía family (about 40 characters). Many of them are named after their ancestors, so it’s easy to mix them up.
‘One Hundred Years Of Solitude’ is novel about a noble, but troubled family. The head of the clan — José Arcadio Buendía founds the town of Macondo, where the majority of upcoming events would take place. José Arcadio and his wife Úrsula managed to turn Macondo into a utopian city with almost no contact with the outside world. The future generations of this peculiar family will eventually destroy this peaceful state.
The first one to shake things up was José Arcadio’s son — Colonel Aureliano Buendía, who was an outstanding revolutioner. He organised thirty-two armed uprisings and lost every single one of them. He married a nine-year old girl and grieved for the rest of his life, when she died during pregnancy. He fathered seventeen sons from seventeen different women, but none of them managed to reach the age of 35. He had unbelievable powers and could even predict the future. Colonel appears quite a lot in the novel, but as the time passes, more and more people start to think of him as a mythical character.
The Buendías also had a stepdaughter Rebeca, who ate earth and married her stepbrother — José Arcadio. His illegitimate son turns into a dictator and gets shot. But before that, he and his wife gave birth to a girl called Remedios the Beauty who was too beautiful for this world and ascended into the sky one afternoon. Her niece Renata was sent to a convent after her lover was killed by the order of her mother. There, in the convent she gave birth to a little boy Aureliano, who’ll be hidden from everyone by his grandmother. That boy eventually falls in love with his aunt and they will produce the last ever family member. The death of the last Buendía will erase Macondo from the planet.
Of course, this is not the full list of characters and events. I just gave a tiny glimpse of what you’re going to experience while reading the book. Solitude plays a great part in the story, obviously. It is present in every member of this exceptional family. Initially, it gives them the perfect existense. But in the end, that isolation destroys everything they’ve once valued and loved. Seems like, every action they take toward happiness brings them misery instead. It’s true that the family shown us here is really unique, but many of the characters are relatable.
It’s no secret that García Márquez represented Macondo as Columbia itself. The way he combined political issues, everyday life aspects and magic is simply genius. This book was my first acquaintance with Gabriel García Márquez’s art. And it definetly won’t be the last.