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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel…

One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)

by Gabriel García Márquez

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
30,39642627 (4.21)1 / 665
  1. 302
    The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (chrisharpe, roby72, krizia_lazaro, browner56)
    browner56: Superb multi-generational sagas of two South American families, told in the magic realism style
  2. 141
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (Mouseear)
  3. 61
    The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies (Gayle_C._Bull)
  4. 50
    The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa (mcenroeucsb)
  5. 62
    Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (Nickelini)
  6. 41
    The Famished Road by Ben Okri (Medellia)
  7. 53
    Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (Aturuxo)
  8. 75
    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (caflores)
  9. 31
    Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo (hippietrail)
  10. 10
    Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa (SilentInAWay)
  11. 21
    The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis (chrisharpe)
  12. 10
    Purgatory by Tomás Eloy Martínez (philosojerk)
    philosojerk: I found Martinez's style in Purgatory very reminiscent of Marquez's in One Hundred Years. If you enjoyed one of them, you would probably enjoy the other.
  13. 10
    The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by Joao Guimaraes Rosa (roby72)
  14. 11
    La saga/fuga de J. B. by Gonzalo Torrente Ballester (Aturuxo)
  15. 00
    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (eromsted)
  16. 22
    Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands by Jorge Amado (hubertguillaud)
  17. 11
    Little, Big by John Crowley (britchey)
    britchey: By interweaving magic and the real, both stories tell a multi-generational family epic about birth, death, and destiny.
  18. 00
    Primeval and Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk (MaidMeri)
  19. 11
    Lovesick by Angeles Mastretta (chrisharpe)
  20. 77
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (derelicious)

(see all 29 recommendations)

1960s (170)

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English (346)  Spanish (55)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  Italian (4)  Portuguese (Portugal) (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Portuguese (2)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (425)
Showing 1-5 of 346 (next | show all)
Anybody who can't find a single thing to appreciate in this book mystifies me. ( )
1 vote lunaluxor | Oct 29, 2015 |
I bought this book with a Christmas present book-token back in 1989 along with, for the record, and not that anyone really cares, The Wasp Factory and A History Of The World In Ten And A Half Chapters. Those I read, but this resisted all efforts to get past the first few pages. I found myself intimidated and unprepared for the density, the language and the lives it portrayed. My ambitions to challenge myself with more literary fiction were always slow and intermittent and subject to my own desire for mysteries and thrills that generated excitement and suspense rather than the mysteries of time and death and the thrills of family life.

And so, finally, I pick it up more than twenty years later and barely manage to put it down until the final tragic transcendence. (I'm trying to write this while my three year old son is bombarding me with names of animals, repeating them until I make the appropriate noises. Occasionally he'll throw in the odd bridge or rug or cobweb to really stump me.) The novel launches into the story of the Buendias family and the remote town of Macondo in the jungles of South America (jelly fish? what sound does a flippin' jellyfish make?) and in a torrent of language and characters and incidents charts the course of the family and the town from the early years of wonders and magic when death could not find Macondo to the tawdry, lethargic squalor of its final days. Yet it is meticulously paced and expertly orchestrated so the larger than life characters (what the heck is a swombord?) that stride through these pages from their youthful vitality to their elderly senescence, if they make it that far, and the development of the town, which seems to encapsulate all of South American history, are woven together in a dense, dreamlike epic that never seems to pause for breath but never seems to rush, never seems breathless or clumsy.

Full of a sort of profound, energetic wisdom that knows all lives are circumscribed by death, and so too are families and towns and countries (dinosaur! Lion! Tiger! My throat hurts!) and that with old age comes decrepitude and the subtle traps of memory and nostalgia, Marquez is remorseless in his portrayal of human decline but does so with compassion and insight and humour. I think in 1989 I would not have been ready for this. I think even if I had finished it, I would not have had even a glimmer of understanding or appreciation for the achievement it is. But I'm glad I got it, and glad I carried it with me all these years.

( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
I love this book. The writing was beyond amazing and I was totally immersed in the storyline. It was so interesting and something was always happening. I love this book so much. SOOOOO GOOOD! ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 20, 2015 |
I love this book. The writing was beyond amazing and I was totally immersed in the storyline. It was so interesting and something was always happening. I love this book so much. SOOOOO GOOOD! ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 17, 2015 |
Loved this book! But it is no easy read. It goes through the life of the Buendía family starting with two cousins marrying each other and the kids and grand kids and great grand kids that follow. Many of the characters share names, so it was a bit confusing, but you get the hang of it and see a pattern with characters who have the same name, there is also a family tree at the beginning. I had to flip to it so many times, really should of just made a copy and kept it next to me as I read. There are fantasy elements that are well done and don't take up too much of the story. This book is just about life and everything that comes with it, so its funny, sad, and most of all interesting. ( )
  GrlIntrrptdRdng | Oct 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 346 (next | show all)
... I’m not doing it because I want to create an escapist novel. I’m doing it because I want to describe life more accurately.

Fantasy stories convey truth without needing to be grounded in the reality of this world. They have holistic, logical systems and realities that affect every aspect of their separate universes. They can describe things that never were and never will be on the earth, without direct attachments to the readers’ everyday existence, while human and universal truths come through. On the other hand, magical realism by definition remains tethered to the “real” workings of this universe. I believe sometimes just a touch of the magical can make a story more applicable to a reader’s everyday existence than it would be otherwise.

One classic example is in my favorite novel of all time, One Hundred Years of Solitude, where Gabriel Garcia Marquez describes a village stricken by “the insomnia plague.” This mass sleeplessness eventually affects the peoples’ memories. One man realizes he will soon no longer be able to function without help. He puts signs on everything to remind him what they are. Others do it too, and soon the signs are everywhere.

After a while the people realize knowing what to call a thing does not mean one knows what to do with it. They begin to add instructions to the signs. A cow is for milking, and milk is for putting into coffee, and etcetera. At one end of their town, they even erect a sign which says, GOD EXISTS.

Finally into this “quicksand of forgetfulness” comes a gypsy with “a drink of a gentle color.” When that cure takes hold, one healed man’s “eyes became moist from weeping even before he noticed himself in an absurd living room where objects were labeled and before he was ashamed of the solemn nonsense written on the walls . . .”

None of this is technically impossible of course, therefore it is not “fantasy” in the literary sense. It is only highly, extremely, vastly improbable; so completely unlikely to happen that we must at least call it “magical.” Yet Garcia Marquez wrings so much common sense from it, one cannot help but wonder if this “insomnia plague” might be something he has actually witnessed in the world—something not merely magical, but somehow also real.

Perhaps Garcia Marquez (the world’s best known author of “magical realism”) has simply written about life as it really is for the millions who are driven to mass insanity by labor on the treadmill of materialism, exhausted to the point of forgetting why they started running in the first place, yet goaded to keep at it by the omnipresent advertisements which remind them they need this thing and that thing in order to continue to forget who they really are.

I write magical realism because some fires do burn in the midst of floods (think of hope when all seems lost), and all cures are essentially mysterious (I can’t explain aspirin), and angels do occasionally intervene (according to the beggars in Mother Theresa’s Calcutta), and there are moments in the midst of work when artists sometimes fly (just ask one if you don’t believe).

In other words, I write magical realism because most of us need to get a little distance from our lives to see them as they really are.

[García Márquez] creates a continuum, a web of connections and relationships. However bizarre or grotesque some particulars may be, the larger effect is one of great gusto and good humor and, even more, of sanity and compassion. The author seems to be letting his people half-dream and half-remember their own story and what is best, he is wise enough not to offer excuses for the way they do it. No excuse is really necessary. For Macondo is no never-never land. Its inhabitants do suffer, grow old and die, but in their own way.
buenisimo muy buena obra
added by tatianaerazo | editcolombia, tatianaerazo

» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
García Márquez, Gabrielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Broek, C.A.G. van denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cicogna, EnricoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Packer, NeilIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rabassa, GregoryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rossi, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Jomí García Ascot
María Luisa Elío
First words
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
Muchos años después, frente al pelotón de fusilamiento, el coronel Aureliano Buendía había de recordar aquella tarde remota en que su padre lo llevó a conocer el hielo.
Много години по-късно, пред взвода за разстрел, полковник Аурелиано Буендия щеше да си спомни онзи далечен подиробед, когато баща му го заведе да види леда.
(Chinese, Taiwan, Traditional script)
Mnogo će se godina kasnije, pred streljačkim vodom, pukovnik Aureliano Buendía sjetiti tog davnog poslijepodneva kada ga je otac poveo da upozna led.
"[Y]ou'd be good in a war," she said. "Where you put your eye, you put your bullet."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Melquiades warns,
a message recieved late,
beware of the ants. (leahdawn)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060883286, Paperback)

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

It is typical of Gabriel García Márquez that it will be many pages before his narrative circles back to the ice, and many chapters before the hero of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Buendía, stands before the firing squad. In between, he recounts such wonders as an entire town struck with insomnia, a woman who ascends to heaven while hanging laundry, and a suicide that defies the laws of physics:

A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta's chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.
"Holy Mother of God!" Úrsula shouted.

The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women--the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, Úrsula, is so moved that "the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house."

With One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez introduced Latin American literature to a world-wide readership. Translated into more than two dozen languages, his brilliant novel of love and loss in Macondo stands at the apex of 20th-century literature. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:14 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Tells the story of the Buendia family, set against the background of the evolution and eventual decadence of a small South American town.

» see all 11 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014118499X, 014103243X, 0141045639, 0141194944

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