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The Most Beautifully Told Story in which Nothing Happens Ever Written - Labyrinth of the Mind-
Labyrinth of the Mind

The Most Beautifully Told Story in which Nothing Happens Ever Written

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I once heard someone remark "Can a book be both brilliant and boring at the same time?" They were speaking of Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse" but the statement perfectly sums up how I feel about "Love in the Time of Cholera"


I have just finished reading this book, and I have to say I cannot quite state just how I feel about the book or what I make of it. On the one hand I could not in earnest say I did not like it, and honestly I cannot say that I did not enjoy it, and I certainly did not think it was a bad book, but it was a book that I found extremely difficult to get myself to read and it was not a book I looked eagerly forward to picking up again.


It is not the book I would normally read, and if I had just come across it on a shelf in a store and picked it up and read what it was about on the back cover, I likely would have put it right back down again. To say the least as we know sentimental stories of undying, unrequited love are not my cup of tea, but I loved 100 Years of Solitude so much I was intrigued to read more by the author and Love in Cholera (as I dub the book for short) was the only other book of his I had even heard anything about so I decided to give it a chance.


The book I thought was beautifully written, and I absolutely loved the first sentence, the prose had a poetic lyricism to them, and some of the passages were truly remarkable. There were certain aspects of the books which I did quite appreciate. There were touches of surrealism, and I do quite enjoy books which blend tragedy and humor together, and there points in the book in which I almost laughed out loud. I also really enjoyed the layers of symbolism within the book.


But on the other hand, the story was soooo slow, and reading the book was not the most engaging, and captivating of experiences. It is not what I would call a page turner. In fact it was a struggle to get through it without slipping into a comatose state at times. There were moments when I could only read a couple paragraphs at a time before I needed to seek distracting with more entertaining forms of entertainment. Virtually nothing happens throughout the entirety of the book. Pretty much the whole thing is just this guy moping about his everlasting unrequited love.


And though the book is intended to be this romantic story about this great undying love, and the power of love, and how it is eternal and blah blah blah, there were times when a part of me could not help but think that really in a way he was kind of a stalker and it would be at least a little bit disturbing to have this adolescent crush show up on your doorstep when he is like 70 years old trying to woo you like you are still teenagers again.


Though in spite of the fact that if this had happened in a real life situation I think the woman might be more likely to get a restraining order, I do think that Marquez did a wonderful job of making the end of the story make sense and fit in quite well and the very last page I thought was quite beautiful and it was one of those things where the ending of the story sort of forgave everything else, though I do still think that the last several pages leading up to that moment drug on a bit longer than was truly needed and I had begun to reach that point of feeling like I just wanted to be finished with the damned thing, and for those who watched Seinfield I was having my Elaine's English Patient, "Just Die Already!" moment where I was like ok, would you just get the point now because I have had as much as I can take and was ready to stop like 20 pages ago.

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10:57 PM - 1/21/2011

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For though All are not able to write books, all conceive themselves able to judge them. ~The Monk


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