Book Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Bhoomi Shah

Written by Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the book chronicles the lives of seven generations of the Buendia family, which is from the fictional town of Macondo. The book focuses on the struggle faced by each family member as they come to understand their solitude and find the true purpose of their lives.

Set in the 1900s, the book allows a historical understanding of Columbia to the reader with landmark events like the Colombian Civil War, industrialisation, struggle for labour rights taking place in the background. The factual realities of the book are interspersed with bits of magical realism: insomnia being a communicable epidemic, a romantic mechanic being followed by yellow butterflies, an exceptionally beautiful girl who ascends to heaven, etc. The foundation of magic realism laid in the book detaches the reader from reality to such an extent that real-life experiences begin to seem absurd. One such instance is the ability of the characters to control their deaths. A person only dies when he can and not when he should.

The book focuses on the journey of races, condemned to one hundred years of solitude, towards the fulfilment of their destinies as they do not get a second opportunity on earth.

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