Friday, April 14, 2006

Memories of My Melancholy Whores

I just finished reading Gabriel García Márquez's most recent book, Memories of My Melancholy Whores. If you've ever read and enjoyed García Márquez, this little book, at 128 pages, is highly recommended. If you've never read him, this story will give you an insight into his world, with love, lust, and the passage of time running as themes through the book.

It has a fantastic opening line: "The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin." And it never looks back from there. Less a novel, and more of a novella or extended short story, this book reads quickly, and is guaranteed to raise eyebrows on the subway or at your local fill-in-the-blank.

Some reviewers have complained about this latest offering, García Márquez's first novel in nearly ten years, expecting much more from a Nobel laureate. Then again, many others praised the book from the last remaining old master of the Latin American novel. One review here by John Updike, in The New Yorker, ends positively: "The septuagenarian Gabriel García Márquez, while he is still alive, has composed, with his usual sensual gravity and Olympian humor, a love letter to the dying light."

I would concur, the world of a García Márquez novel is a dazzling adventure for the senses. This short little novel is a welcome breath of fresh air which I would definitely recommend.

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