Over the last couple of days, I have been catching up with reading a bit, and today, one more book changed places from the ‘To be read’ mountain in my library to the ‘Completed’ mound. This time, it is ‘Memories of my melancholy whores’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
I picked up this book a couple of months back at the bookstore, intrigued by the excerpt on it, and then I decided to read it for the OT Challenge. The storyline sounded like something different, and I had heard such a lot about Marquez that I went for it.
Note: Plot revealed
The excerpt on the book sums it up pretty well:
On the eve of his ninetieth birthday, a bachelor decides to give himself a wild night of love with a virgin. As is his habit – he has purchased hundreds of women – he asks a madam for assistance. The fourteen-year-old girl who is procured for him is enchanting, but exhausted as she is from caring for siblings and her job sewing buttons, and she can do little but sleep. Yet with this sleeping beauty at his side, it is he who awakens to a romance he has never known……
Yes, the story is about a man who has spent the most part of his life looking for love amidst a number of women, who finally does find it with an innocent fourteen-year-old, when he himself is ninety.
How was my first experience with Marquez? I found the book pretty dark and depressing, till the point where the protagonist discovers love. It then turns tender and the tone of the book changes. Love changes the protagonist from an embittered old man to a ‘lover’, putting tenderness and beauty in his heart and eyes. The magic of the discovery of first love was the part I liked the most in the book; however, in terms of narration of the story and the plot, I found the book very OK-ish.
I do look forward to reading more of Marquez, though, before I frame a definite opinion about the author, especially his classics ‘Love in the time of cholera’ and ‘One hundred years of solitude’.
The OT Read-o-meter now points at 8 books, with the last one in the pipeline.
I think this song suits the book pretty well: