A Reader's Guide to Unfamiliar Literature
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A Good Place To Start

TitleVotes 
One Hundred Years of Solitude 8
Love in the Time of Cholera 4
Chronicle of a Death Foretold 2
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings 1

A Bad Place To Start

TitleVotes 
Love in the Time of Cholera 3
The General in His Labyrinth 3

Genres

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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Comments

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

RaathkiRani March 14th, 2006 01:43 PM PST

Those folks I know who've started with Love in a Time of Cholera have not liked 100 Years of Solitude as much. Those who've started, as I did, with 100 Years, have for the most part thought it was one of their favorite books of all time. I definitely think starting with 100 Years is a good idea.

jcbermu April 25th, 2006 05:14 AM PST

Start with 100 years. As it is his main work, I think that all his other works revolve around this.

Dunzy November 20th, 2006 12:09 AM PST

"Chronicle of a Death Foretold" seems an excellent starter-choice to me because it packs the author's themes (and a sample of his distinctive narrative style) into relatively few pages. It isn't GGM-Lite, but it *is* GGM-Tite. :)

drunken dime March 31st, 2007 01:19 PM PST

Many of the Magical Realist cliches that you read in books and see in movies nowadays were not cliches back in 1967 when Garcia Marquez invented them for the novel "100 Years of Solitude".

I read "100 Years" in Spanish 25 years ago and thought it was wonderful. I recently reread it in Spanish and then in English. I'm sorry to say, I don't think it has aged all that well, or maybe I'm the one showing my age. Still, it's an important book and very much worth reading -- for its own sake and also so that you can see from whence other, lesser authors, have been stealing their ideas these past thirty years.

I think Garcia Marques himself must have seen the stylistic limitations of "100 Years" very quickly, because most of his work since then has been less flashy and much more realistic. "Love in the Time of Cholera" is a good starting point.

wijmlet September 1st, 2009 03:42 PM PST

Prefer Solitude to Cholera. Good short stories, too.

Biography

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This brief bio is from the Nobel Prize website: "Gabriel García Márquez was born in 1928 in the small town of Aracataca, situated in a tropical region of northern Colombia, between the mountains and the Caribbean Sea. He grew up with his maternal grandparents - his grandfather was a pensioned colonel from the civil war at the beginning of the century. He went to a Jesuit college and began to read law, but his studies were soon broken off for his work as a journalist. In 1954 he was sent to Rome* on an assignment for his newspaper, and since then he has mostly lived abroad - in Paris, New York, Barcelona and Mexico - in a more or less compulsory exile. Besides his large output of fiction he has written screenplays and has continued to work as a journalist." [GGM received the Nobel Price for Literature in 1982.]

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