One Hundred Years of Solitude

By Gabriel García Márquez,

Book cover of One Hundred Years of Solitude

Book description

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women -- brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that…

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Why read it?

8 authors picked One Hundred Years of Solitude as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a fantastic story writer whose roots make his books even more poetic. One Hundred Years of Solitude is indeed a timeless classic to me as is Breakfast of Champions. Mr. Marquez brought us in length through a magical story through the generations, with each generation also showcasing the changes in the community. It was seamless, theatric, dramatic, and largely humorous. It is a book I always do cherish

From Haresh's list on off tangent stories.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Márquez plunges his readers into a surreal tale of magical realism where the extraordinary sits alongside the ordinary. The mythical town of Macondo creates a backdrop for seven generations of the Buendia family. This is a challenging read that is dense with Latin American history. But it is well worth it. Take it in small doses, if necessary. I found I had to reread passages to absorb it, but the richness of the characters and setting made it a mystical literary feast. 

Set against a backdrop of civil war, this fantastical novel tells the story of seven generations of the Buendia family, who effectively live in a remote Colombian swamp. 

I first read this unrestrained epic more than thirty years ago and was blown away by its beautiful absurdity. Gabriel García Márquez, the architect of el realismo mágico, turns reality upside down and shows his readers the magic and depravity that lurks underneath. Its poetic secrets have remained in my authorial psyche ever since and influenced the way in which I write.

It’s the most translated Spanish-language book after Don Quixote…

From Kevin's list on magical realism for escapists.

Another landmark in my life as a reader-writer, I often describe this book as the one that set me free. It freed my understanding of what a novel could be, showing me how a story could be both whimsical and serious at the same time. It’s also expansive in its idea of family, weaving a tapestry of complex, colorful individuals bound variously to each other by blood or love but uniformly to one location – the House – across the great span of time.

From Umar's list on the meaning of family.

This book inspired me to write novels. It was thrilling to discover an author who weaves magical elements and events into otherwise ordinary and realistic situations, treating both as equally natural. Few other authors have done this so masterfully and in such an urgent and amusing way. I often re-read parts of this book to remind myself that it’s not only acceptable but crucial for me to form stories out of playfulness, in order to depict a multi-dimensional view of reality.

This is the iconic novel of Latin American magical realism, the one that most typifies what the genre is in people’s minds. But that’s not to say it’ll feel familiar or predictable; to the contrary, no book is more full of surprises, more original on every page than this story of a family over a hundred years in the legendary down of Macondo. Curses, angels, forbidden love, guerilla war, and the renewing and obliterating power of time—all that and much more are in this classic epic that created what we understand to be magical realism.

From Daniel's list on Latin American magical realism.

For years I described my second novel by saying, “It’s like One Hundred Years of Solitude, except instead of South America it’s set in the American South.” I must have used that line two dozen times. When I was halfway through writing my book, I decided it would probably be a good idea to actually read Gabriel García Márquez’s novel.

How stupid I was to have waited so long! I’m hardly the first to claim this, but One Hundred Years of Solitude, about the many generations of the Buendía family, is one of the greatest literary achievements…

So much has been written about One Hundred Years—and so many prisoners of Comp Lit 101 have been broadsided by its strangeness—that I’m tempted to beg you to forget everything you’ve heard and dive in. But that’s insufficient advice. Before going off to the Colombian village that time forgot, you should also discard your ideas about story structure. Take pacing: months can pass in a sentence or two in Gabo’s masterpiece—but on the next page, the sun may stop in the sky. Or character: the tangible reality of these people is breathtaking—but are they all shards of the…

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