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Memories of My Melancholy Whores [Dec. 8th, 2005|09:39 am]
Literary Fiction Lovers

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[ppsassygrl]
I've just finished Marquez's Memories of My Melancholy Whores and have, once again, fallen completely in love with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The novel is quite short, but poignant, and can easily (and enjoyably) be read in one sitting.


The protagonist of the novel (who remains unnamed throughout) decides to give himself on his ninetieth birthday the gift of a 14 year old virgin at a local brothel. The protagonist is not new to the idea of paid love, and has enjoyed 514 prostitutes throughout his lifetime. The madam of the house has given the beautiful virgin a tonic to calm her nerves, which causes her to sleep the entire night; she is beautiful in her sleep, and the ninety year old man, for the first time in his life, falls in love. That night spills into an entire year of the old man in love wooing his sleeping beauty, while also reliving his past experiences and memories. As is typically the case with Marquez, the book is littered with beautiful imagery. The novel is eloquently written, but the underlying theme, as the title suggests, has been made more morose and melancholy by the memories our protagonist is reliving. My only complaint is that it was too short; whenever I read Marquez I always find myself wanting more. One of my favorite quotes (among many) illustrating his power of imagery, as well as the overall tone of the book: "When the cathedral bells struck seven, there was a single, limpid star in the rose-colored sky, a ship called out a disconsolate farewell, and in my throat I felt the Gordian knot of all the loves that might have been and weren't."


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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sibyline
2005-12-09 12:24 pm (UTC)
Good to hear that Garcia-Marquez is back on his game after such a long absence. Did you think that the characters were drawn with less psychological depth than his other books. A review I read implied this.

Been thinking a lot about magical realism recently, and am planning to write something about it soon.
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[User Picture]From: ppsassygrl
2005-12-09 02:52 pm (UTC)
I think this reviewer was apt when making that implication--although an amazing book (and definitely a re-readable one), I agree that the main character doesn't have the depth of the characters in his other books. I'm not sure if that's just because this book is so much shorter than his typical novel, or takes place over a much shorter period of time, or what. However, it's still definitely worth reading just for imagery alone.
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[User Picture]From: sibyline
2005-12-09 12:30 pm (UTC)
oh, and i fully support the online book club idea you put out on booktards. would be happy to coordinate reading with you and maybe get a few more people on board. anyone else here wanna do that? i have "never let me go" already and have been meaning to read it.
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[User Picture]From: ppsassygrl
2005-12-09 02:49 pm (UTC)
The community I've started is called monthlybookchat. It should be a fun time, and am hoping to get it all organized with a book in mind for January! Never let me go seems like a good book; I can't wait to get into it!
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