Friday, June 15, 2012

"Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Since I quit my job, I've been reading more. I'm trying to soak in all the literary I can in the next few months, because I have a feeling that when baby comes, I'll have limited time and/or energy to read anything longer than five, fully illustrated cardboard pages. Anyway, I've revisited that neglected reading list on goodreads, taken a leisurely stroll through Ashland's Book Exchange shop, and now have some material to get through.

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The first book on my list is one that I've been wanting/trying to read for years: Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I borrowed this book from the library when I lived in Eastern Oregon, got a third of the way through it, and had to return it before I could finish because we were moving here. I borrowed it again from the school library here a couple months ago and started over, got about a fifth of the way through, didn't finish. I finally broke down and bought this book. Third time's the charm, I guess. I'm halfway through, now, and loving it so far.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I try to read like a writer, so I thought I'd mention a few writerly things I've picked up on reading this book. First, I'm really liking Garcia-Marquez' use of structure. Love in the Time of Cholera is a classic frame story. Basically, the first chapter is a fast-forward account of the closing events in the story, but with significant gaps left, so that the reader is left grasping for motives and interrogating each character. Another thing that Garcia-Marquez does is foreshadowing. He does this masterfully, inserting nuggets of information throughout the story that, while they reveal something, always bring up even more questions. Finally, I'm loving this author's literary "voice." He tells his story in a conversational way, but with such vivid attention to detail and historical accuracy, that the reader is completely transported into the world created.

If you get a chance to read this book, I'd highly recommend it. It's a well-written, fast read (even though it took me about five years to get this far!) and a beautiful love story.


  1. Thanks for reminding me about this great book. I read many, many years ago and it clearly deserves a re-reading! The opening chapter itself is a masterclass in setting up 'hooks' to grab the readers attention.

  2. Hi Edith! Yes, I completely agree!

  3. Hi Laura,
    I came across your blog on She Writes. I love blogs that do book reviews. I've never read this book, but I like the way you turn it into an educational experience. As an aspiring novelist, I too, read not just for pleasure, but to get some tips. Great post! I'm now a follower.




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