Review: Love in the Time of Cholera — Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Read: 26
To Go: 74

Book List:
21. Why Men Lie — Linden MacIntyre
22. My Dear I Wanted to Tell You — Louisa Young
23. Phaedrus — Plato
24. The First Wife — Emily Barr
25. The Last Boyfriend — Nora Roberts
26. Love in the Time of Cholera — Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“Top 50 38 Romantic Lines” read: 6/38

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs — yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty-one years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do it again.

Romantic quote: “I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century, to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting love.”

I’m running late, plus I have very little patience left for this novel, so I’m going to make this super quick. Here’s the nitty gritty on Love in the Time of Cholera.

Firstly, it’s not that the writing was bad. The writing was lovely. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a great writer. But this book was way, way, way too long. At only 348 pages, it felt longer than reading 11/22/63 (which, if I may remind you, was well over 800 pages). There was so much unnecessary stuff that could have been cut.

Also, the chapter lengths were ridiculous! They were at least 50 pages each which, by the way, made me feel like I was fighting a war I was never going to win because it would never end! (Not to mention that it makes it very hard to find a good place to leave off if you can’t get to the end of a chapter.)

Finally, this book really should have been called She’s Just Not That Into You. I was misled by the quote, and the book, to believe that Fermina and Florentino had some kind of tragic love affair that didn’t work out because of class-related issues, which was unfortunately not what actually happened. This was just a classic case of someone investing way too much time and energy into someone who doesn’t love him back. Like, this is the world’s worst unrequited love story! Florentino was in desperate need of a patented Greg Behrendt “[s]he’s just not that into you” pep-talk.

Oh, and the funny story: I found this book at BMV, mislabeled for $2.99 even though all the rest in the stack were $6.99. So I paid less than $5 for this book! Yay! (I’m really glad I didn’t pay that much for it, since I didn’t enjoy it.) BMV might be my new best friend.

Next book: Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes — Kamal Al-Solaylee (One of my favourite professors, by the way.)

– Kelsey


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