BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Confusing,
Fantastic,
Beautiful

4 reviews

One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Published: 1998-11
Library Binding : 0 pages
15 members reading this now
34 clubs reading this now
15 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 4 members

One of the most influential literary works of our time, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a dazzling and original achievement by the masterful Gabriel García Márquez, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and ...

No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a gifted writer, and nowhere does he write with the fervor that he does in "One Hundred Years of Solitude, " a pleasurable ride unmatched in modern literature.

Editorial Review

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

It is typical of Gabriel García Márquez that it will be many pages before his narrative circles back to the ice, and many chapters before the hero of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Buendía, stands before the firing squad. In between, he recounts such wonders as an entire town struck with insomnia, a woman who ascends to heaven while hanging laundry, and a suicide that defies the laws of physics:

A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta's chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where �rsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.
"Holy Mother of God!" Ã?rsula shouted.

The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women--the two �rsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, �rsula, is so moved that "the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house."

With One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez introduced Latin American literature to a world-wide readership. Translated into more than two dozen languages, his brilliant novel of love and loss in Macondo stands at the apex of 20th-century literature. --Alix Wilber

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

Questions from Publisher's Reading Guide:

1. What kinds of solitude occur in the novel (for example, solitude of pride, grief, power, love, or death), and with whom are they associated? What circumstances produce them? What similarities and differences are there among the various kinds of solitude?


2. What are the purposes and effects of the story's fantastic and magical elements? How does the fantastic operate in the characters' everyday lives and personalities? How is the magical interwoven with elements drawn from history, myth, and politics?


3. Why does Garcia Marquez make repeated use of the "Many years later" formula? In what ways does this establish a continuity among past, present, and future? What expectations does it provoke? How do linear time and cyclical time function in the novel?


4. To what extent is Macondo's founding, long isolation, and increasing links with the outside world an exodus from guilt and corruption to new life and innocence and, then, a reverse journey from innocence to decadence?


5. What varieties of love occur in the novel? Does any kind of love transcend or transform the ravages of everyday life, politics and warfare, history, and time itself?


6. What is the progression of visitors and newcomers to Macondo, beginning with the gypsies? How does each new individual and group affect the Buendias, the town, and the story?


7. What is the importance of the various inventions, gadgets, and technological wonders introduced into Macondo over the years? Is the sequence in which they are introduced significant?


8. What is Melquiades's role and that of his innovations, explorations, and parchments? What is the significance of the "fact" that Melquiades "really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude"? Who else returns, and why?


9. When and how do politics enter the life of Macondo? With what short-term and long-term consequences? Do the social-political aspects of life in Macondo over the years parallel actual events and trends?


10. What types of women (from Ursula and Pilar to Meme and Amaranta Ursula) and what types of men (from Jose Arcadio to Aureliano Babilonia) are distinguishable? What characteristics do the men share? What characteristics do the women share?


11. What dreams, prophecies, and premonitions occur in the novel? With which specific characters and events are they associated, and what is their purpose?


12. When, how, and in what guises does death enter Macondo? With what consequences?


13. On the first page we are told that "The world was so recent that many things lacked names." What is the importance of names and of naming (of people, things, and events) in the novel?


14. How do geography and topography -- mountains, swamps, river, sea, etc. -- affect Macondo's history, its citizens' lives, and the novel's progression?


15. What aspects of the Buendia family dynamics are specific to Macondo? Which are reflective of family life everywhere and at any time? How do they relate to your experience and understanding of family life?


16. How does Garcia Marquez handle the issue and incidence of incest and its association with violence beginning with Jose Arcadio and Ursula's marriage and the shooting of Prudencio Aguilar? Is the sixth-generation incest of Aureliano Babilonia and Amaranta Ursula inevitable?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by virk0001 (see profile) 10/29/18

 
  "One Hundred Years of Solitude"by dbjohnson (see profile) 01/28/16

Every book lover should read this book as it is simultaneously funny, sad, horrifying, mystifying, magical. Beautifully written, it is on my Shelf of Honor. Each time I read it, I am stunned by Garcia... (read more)

 
by AirheadReads (see profile) 04/17/15

 
  "Not a fan"by mrsrelphie (see profile) 11/02/10

There are too many characters, too many times the authors jumps time eras, and not enough interesting stories to keep me reading. Made it 3/4 of the way through and put it away, for good. Not quite sure... (read more)

 
  "One Hundred Years of Solitude"by JRT (see profile) 02/01/10

Written by one of South America's most respected writers, this book introduced readers around the world to this region's magical realism tradition in modern fiction. Book has stood the test of time --... (read more)

 
  "One hundred years of family dynamics, culture & history."by keelylaine (see profile) 09/23/08

This book was not an easy read, but I enjoyed it.

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search
FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...