INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • "A love story of astonishing power" (Newsweek), the acclaimed modern literary classic by the beloved Nobel Prize-winning author
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera is a heartbreaking modern classic. Florentino Ariza has pined for his first love, Fermina Daza, for more than 50 years; after Fermina’s husband dies, Florentino swoops back into her life. Although the reunited lovers fall for each other again in old age, theirs is no straightforward love story—it’s a tale of obsession, desire, jealousy, suffering, and fear of aging and death. García Márquez’s intimate, lyrical prose—with just a touch of his trademark magic realism—makes us feel the heights and depths of his characters’ emotions.
The ironic vision and luminous evocation of South America that have distinguished Garcia Marquez's Nobel Prize-winning fiction since his landmark work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, persist in this turn-of-the-century chronicle of a unique love triangle. It is a fully mature novel in scope and perspective, flawlessly translated, as rich in ideas as in humanity. The illustrious and meticulous Dr. Juvenal Urbino and his proud, stately wife Fermina Daza, respectively past 80 and 70, are in the autumn of their solid marriage as the drama opens on the suicide of the doctor's chess partner. Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, a disabled photographer of children, chooses death over the indignities of old age, revealing in a letter a clandestine love affair, on the "fringes of a closed society's prejudices.'' This scenario not only heralds Urbino's demise soon afterwhen he falls out of a mango tree in an attempt to catch an escaped parrotbut brilliantly presages the novel's central themes, which are as concerned with the renewing capacity of age as with an anatomy of love. We meet Florentino Ariza, more antihero than hero, a mock Don Juan with an undertaker's demeanor, at once pathetic, grotesque and endearing, when he seizes the memorably unseemly occasion of Urbino's funeral to reiterate to Fermina the vow of love he first uttered more than 50 years before. With the fine detailing of a Victorian novel, the narrative plunges backward in time to reenact their earlier, youthful courtship of furtive letters and glances, frustrated when Fermina, in the light of awaking maturity, realizes Florentino is an adolescent obsession, and rejects him. With his uncanny ability to unearth the extraordinary in the commonplace, Garcia Marquez smoothly interweaves Fermina's and Florentino's subsequent histories. Enmeshed in a bizarre string of affairs with ill-fated widows while vicariously conducting the liaisons of others via love poems composed on request, Florentino feverishly tries to fill the void of his unrequited passion. Meanwhile, Fermina's marriage suffers vicissitudes but endures, affirming that marital love can be as much the product of art as is romantic love. When circumstances both comic and mystical offer Fermina and Florentino a second chance, during a time in their lives that is often regarded as promising only inevitable degeneration toward death, Garcia Marquez beautifully reveals true love's soil not in the convention of marriage but in the simple, timeless rituals that are its cement. 100,000 first printing; first serial to the New Yorker; BOMC main selection.
Gabriel Marquez demonstrates his genius once more
This novel not only tells a compelling narrative chalked full of historical references and political undertones but it explores the nature of love. Western culture is polluted by superficial, half hearted narratives about love, it is refreshing to read about love with the lucidity or Marquez's writing.
A love story by another name
This was the second of Marquez’s books that I have read. I am now convinced that he maybe one of the top three if not greatest literary minds. He created mysterious yet still familiar worlds where every story that we all know about life plays out. But like all his books the title misrepresents the sweeping magnitude of what it encompasses.
This one is a story of love in every phase and type. From the classically romantic to the utterly disturbed. How it is birthed, nurtured, smothered, and reborn. It is a story of war, in the heart, in the land, as old as time. It is a story of aging and the regrets born of it. It’s madness, fantasy, bitter reality, and the relief of life all in one experience. I feel all the more human having read it.
The madness in his books is what makes them all the more endearing to me; in a Big Fish kind of way. Much like in science fiction, these fantastical tales and settings are just a back drop for a deeply human story. The fact that Marquez reaches back into the past and not into the future for these awe inspiring stories is even more impressive. They also make some of the more disturbing parts more manageable because of the plot purpose they serve.
Just couldn’t get into it.
I tried. I really tried. But the story didn’t grab me.