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Again, a very highly acclaimed book, but probably more, a highly acclaimed author, Gabriel García Márquez. I have heard so much about him. Actually, to be fair it did prepare me for an incredibly dense read. And I think I got off lightly on that front. Yes, I read it for a week, then on a 3 hour bus ride to the airport, then a 24 hour flight to the UK, then multiple 1 hour train rides to where my brother lived in Oxfordshire from London. But from what I had heard of his writing, I expected it to last me almost 4 weeks of travelling. I was pleasantly surprised.
I mean, that is a long read, but it could have been worse. The measurement of life really.
The story itself is about a lady called Fermina Daza. You meet her at the end of her life. Well, on the day her husband dies. And then we go back in time and look at her life, but more importantly, through her relationship with a man called Florentino Ariza. It's nice. I like Fermina. I want to know about her and her husband.
Who I do not like is Florentino. Which is unfortunate as about 70% of the book is about him. It's about his love. His infatuation. His conquests. His lovers. His lies. I just don't give a shit. He seems like a repulsive man I would spend no time with and probably in all honesty, not talking myself up here, see through his bullshit and send him on his way.
I am, I concede, a very different woman to Fermina and who she was allowed to be in turn of the century Columbia. But really? You buy it? All of it? Do all of the other women? Really?
Look, you will turn me off when you write a book saying (author [yes you Paulo Coelho] or character) "I'm a fucking studmuffin". I don't buy it. It screams fantasy. I do not need to partake in it. More importantly, I do not WANT to. Go away.
So why 3 stars? (sorry, SPOILER). Because for what it was it was well written, vaguely enjoyable studmufffin fantasy. But because I liked Fermina. I wanted to know how her story ended. And I did and I understood her. I am not sure who he meant to be the "main" character in this book and whether this achieves his goal or not. That intrigues me about the man. And will I got back for A Hundred Years of Solitude one day? Yes.