“Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(First publication: 1985 / This edition: Penguin Books 2014)
Taken during a lunch at El Mercado
But if they had learned anything together, it was that wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good. (pg.16)
I’ve written about a Gabriel Garcia Marquez before—“One Hundred Years of Solitude”—which I didn’t especially liked or have any special feelings for. I’ve read a few others, such as “Memoirs of My Melancholy Whores” and “Strange Pilgrims”.
….Just not a fan.
It’s not that I dislike his works or anything; I just don’t feel much for any of the ones I’ve read.
After a long hiatus of reading his books, I decided to read this one—and it’s been on my shelf since March 2014. I was still living in Tokyo and I had to ask my mom to find it for me in Thailand and bring it there for me—I was unable to find it in Tokyo. That was how enthusiastic I was about reading it.
But then “One Hundred Years of Solitude” completely turned me off, so this one just didn’t look appealing anymore at that time. And a friend of mine had told me back then, too, that “Love in the Time of Cholera” is, and I quote, “a good book but you really need to dedicate yourself to it”. That just translated to “tedious and exhausting” for me.
And… it’s true. I started this early April, and it’s been over a month and it’s put me into such a depressing reading slump.
I just keep finding myself asking, “Why won’t you end??? Why is this story not going anywhere???”
It’s been feeling like a chore or an obligation every time I pick it up and bring it on the commute to work; just want to “force” myself to make it through. I actually only have about 1/6 to go (50 pages or so). Yes, I actually keep on checking how much further I have left to go on. That’s how desperate I am.
Don’t get me wrong—the writing is beautiful, I admit. Typical Gabriel Garcia Marquez style (but thank goodness it’s not magical realism—not my cup of tea at all)—very descriptive and each sentence feels like it’s constructed to be poetry. I’ve underlined a few phrases and passages that touched my heart.
But…after a while, it really feels like you’ve been walking down this long, long, long, long road—probably desert-y too—and there’s nothing to see and nothing to excite you and nothing to get your heart racing. And even though you can see the end of the road (or your end destination), it’s like you will never get there. And it feels like you’ve been walking for days already and you start to feel like your end destination will probably be a disappointment anyway.
…so what I did was say, “Screw this, I’m out” and just plopped down in the middle of that road and gave up on reaching that end destination. And I feel fine and relieved.
Still a bit curious to know how it’d end, but… meh. Don’t care enough.
Please excuse the rant.