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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA

This was not a quick read. It took me quite a while to get through it but that does not mean that it was not interesting. Though part love story, it was also quite descriptive not just of places but of people and of the time the book was set. 

The author is the one who is setting the story - the three main characters of Dr. Juvenal Urbino, his wife Fermina Daza and her very longtime admirer Florentino Ariza. The story set over 50 years may be the reason for its slow pace. You never feel that you can hurry it along and find out what is going to happen. From the first page you know this is going to be the long haul. You will get there eventually but you have to have patience. Old fashioned backgrounds may also account for the slower pace of the book.

Fermina as a very young girl had no idea of romantic love and Florentino came into her life at an opportune time when she was bored with her life. The idea of love between them was borne but it was a hopeless one as her father would never approve of this relationship. Dr Urbino called to her bedside at a time of illness, fell in love with her and she remained a faithful wife to him till his untimely death.  The creepy part was that Florentino never fell out of love with his ideal love and just waited patiently for Dr Urbino to die to claim his bride. This is exactly what he did. He had a very long wait though and the story is told from the time he met Fermina till the doctor's death and his subsequent wooing of Fermina.

Spanning decades in Colombo Fermina is a haughty, arrogant woman who forgot her past, Florentino would today be called a stalker and Dr Urbino lived in his own world where he felt he was the best in everything he did. 

Extremely descriptive but very slow this is not a book for those who want a quick read, and for events to happen quickly. Interesting but painfully slow.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I own this book, but have never felt in the right mood to tackle it. Glad u persisted and for it worthwhile.

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I've not read any Marquez, something I'm a bit ashamed of! Was there a lot of magical realism in the book?

Mary (Bookfan) said...

"painfully slow" - I agree. Not my favorite but that's probably my problem because this author seems to be on many readers' best books list.

Noelle the dreamer said...

I have learned you are often ahead of me when reading a specific title Mystica so this one surprised me since it was published a while back!
It is a remarkable book covering all aspects of love but I must agree with you as it is a novel I remember having to take it in slow doses. I had a hard time to concentrate whilst absorbing the whole story.
Have you read 'The Book of Madness & Cures'? I would be interested in finding out your views.
Good Day!

JoV said...

I own this book, in my TBR for a long time and like you said it's painfully slow which may put me off from reading it. Still after your review, I'm determined to finish it! Thanks.