Weird, unforgettable characters

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, was first published in 1967. It is a weird and wonderful kaleidoscope of unforgettable characters and phantasmagorical events.

From the very first page, when the gypsy Melquíades arrives in the village of Macondo, you are swept into the passions, triumphs and disasters of seven generations of the Buendía family.

Here you find love, desire, war, insanity, magic and revolution, comedy and tragedy, Spanish galleons moored in the middle of forests, suicides that defy the laws of physics, and an orphan girl who eats earth and spreads a plague of insomnia.


Abyss of newly-washed nudity

Aureliano smiled, picked her up by the waist with both hands like a pot of begonias, and dropped her on her back on the bed. With a brutal tug he pulled off her bathrobe before she had time to resist and he loomed over an abyss of newly-washed nudity whose skin colour, lines of fuzz, and hidden moles had all been imagined in the shadows of the other rooms.

Amaranta Ursula defended herself sincerely with the astuteness of a wise woman, weaselling her slippery, flexible and fragrant weasel's body as she tried to knee him in the kidneys and scorpion his face with her nails, but without either of them giving a gasp that might not have been taken for the breathing of a person watching the meagre April sunset through the open window. It was a fierce fight, a battle to the death, but it seemed to be without violence because it consisted of distorted attacks and ghostly evasions.

(Folio Society edition, p382)

more excerpts to come...


One Hundred Years of Solitude