I chose this novel for three reasons: a) I thought it was an interesting title, b) While I have never read anything by this author I have wanted to read his 100 Years of Solitude, and c) it was short. Probably not the best reasons to pick up a book, but I thought it was a decent read for the beach. I liked the writing style and look forward to reading more by Márquez. His prose is straight forward and has an elevated style that I feel should come across as presumptuous, but somehow doesn’t. Instead, it reads like it is written by someone who knows that he knows how to write. However, I was not a huge fan of the story itself, which follows the narrator who turns 90 and decides that he wants to spend the night with a virgin. Almost every night for a year the narrator sleeps next to this young girl. I am not particularly squeamish when it comes to sex scenes and there is nothing in the book that is too graphic (it’s certainly no Girl with the Dragon Tatoo), but I didn’t really like the narrator whose views on sex and women were degrading. I am sure that Márquez was making a larger statement about that and other issues, but I didn’t really care to think that much about the narrator to figure out what those statements were. But I do think that someone with a more open mind would enjoy the story much more and have a greater appreciate for the characters that Márquez crafts.
Originally submitted on 8/8/2012.
Review Submitted by: Lauren Grey, SMCM Alumn ’11
Rating: Recommended with Reservations