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robtwinem

runner

I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

Currently reading

Remain Silent
Susie Steiner
Progress: 30 %
The Leopard
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Progress: 80 %
Professional Reader 50 Book Reviews 80% Reviews Published

Colourful but complex

Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez 2014) - Gabriel García Márquez

A difficult book to read. A book filled with so much imagery, overloaded with detailed descriptive prose. The setting is most probably (as it is never stated) a town in Columbia in the North Western corner of South America. The time the last few years of the 19th century and the start of the 20th.  The main participants are Doctor Juvenal Urbino, his wife Fermina Daza, and her admirer Florentino Ariza.

 

At its heart LITTofC is a love story and no matter how long that love takes to blossom, and whatever the obstacles, true love will always win through. But this is more than that…It is about honour, family loyalty, and above all belief, against a background of a colourful city, steamy and sleepy streets, rat infested sewers, old slave quarter, decaying colonial architecture and complex multifarious inhabitants. If a central character were to be chosen it would undoubtedly be Florentino Arizo. A successful business man, head of his own riverboat company, and always available to him a willing selection of attractive women knocking at his door. However his treatment of lovers did not always reflect a man of honour in particular mention should be made of America Vicuna. A child when she met Arizo, he was meant to educate and comfort her, instead he used his position as guardian to abuse with tragic unforgettable consequences.

 

I particularly enjoyed the closing chapters which to me was really a study of ageing, the approach of infirmities and the vital need for companionship and love even in the autumn and winter of our lives….”old age began with one’s first minor fall and that death comes with the second”……”After a long while Florentino Ariza looked at Fermina Daza by the light of the river. She seemed ghostly, her sculptured profile softened by a tenuous blue light”…”It was a meditation on life, love, old age, death: ideas that had often fluttered around her head like nocturnal birds but dissolved into a trickle of feathers when she tried to catch hold of them”……