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Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel…

Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004)

by Gabriel García Márquez

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4321051,546 (3.5)121
Recently added byprivate library, oscard07, Jorge_Lopez, Raquelai, dchaikin, chrisyoung, duydoan, mekapellen
  1. 130
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (heidialice, browner56)
    heidialice: Possibly too obvious of a recommendation? Very different takes on this central theme....
    browner56: Two different views of obsession masquerading as love; both books are so well written that you almost forget the sordid nature of the theme they share.
  2. 30
    No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (caflores)
  3. 00
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (olonec)
  4. 00
    House of the Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories by Yasunari Kawabata (drnqs)
    drnqs: García Márquez's novella is directly inspired by Kawabata's House of the Sleeping Beauties.
  5. 00
    Hell Has No Limits by José Donoso (caflores)
  6. 00
    Længsel på bestilling : roman by Janina Katz (Henrik_Madsen)
    Henrik_Madsen: To vidt forskellige beskrivelser af alderdommens melankoli og søgen efter erotik og kærlighed.

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» See also 121 mentions

English (84)  Spanish (9)  Dutch (5)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Thai (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
Brilliant, late, gem of a novel by the master storyteller. How a 90-year old womanizer finally finds love. Amazing. ( )
  ReneeGKC | Jan 15, 2018 |
With a title like this, who could resist purchasing it? Weighing in at just over 100 pages, Memoirs is about a man turning 90 and his decision to make his birthday a memorable one by sleeping with a teenage virgin. Fortunately, things don't turn out as either the protagonist or the reader expect.

A commentary on growing old, it reminded me of Bohumil Hrabal's Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age. But Garcia Marquez writes with affection for his characters about the ecstasy of first love. An enjoyable read. ( )
  labfs39 | Jan 8, 2018 |
Don't be misled by the number of pages---though it's a short book, its rich with tormented love, drama, and passion. The character, himself, is multi-layered, driven by nostalgia, grand dignity, indulgence and denial, lust, illusion, love, repression and longing, desire, and regret. The writing has poetic cadency without superficiality and the need to impress. The language and internal dialogue is read with such ease, such passion is believable, even encouraged, even though the character is obviously flawed, and loss, inevitable. ( )
1 vote ZaraD.Garcia-Alvarez | Jun 6, 2017 |
So far, it is the worst book I have read this year. The story itself starts very disgustingly. A journalist, on his 90th birthday, wants to have sex with a virgin. He calls the local madam, Rosa Cabarcas and she arranges a 15 year old girl for him. The journalist, in his 90 long years, never found love. All he wants is just to please himself physically and to test his 'performance' at this age. When the journalist meets the arranged girl, he discovered he fell in love for the first time in his life. The plot is somewhat eccentric and ambitious but the execution is not up to the mark. The whole plot is destroyed due to pretension. The repetitive description of the girl's naked body is also very disturbing. One has to be the old journalist of the novel while reading for enjoying the book. I tried really hard, but couldn't see myself in his place.

For books like this, I think I am going to make another bookshelf. And I shall name it 'Total waste of time'. ( )
  Shaker07 | May 18, 2017 |
Non tra i milgiori. ( )
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
The relationship between the narrator and his virgin is really a relationship that exists inside the narrator's head, and since Mr. García Márquez makes little effort to make this man remotely interesting - as either an individual or a representative figure - it's hard for the reader to care really about what happens. Moreover, the trajectory of this narrative turns out to be highly predictable, leading to a banal ending to a banal story that's quite unworthy of the great Gabriel García Márquez's prodigious talents.
"Memories of My Melancholy Whores" is García Márquez's first book of fiction in a decade - since "Of Love and Other Demons," which was also a short novel about an unlikely romance. He has filled that time with memoir-writing: the first, large volume of his autobiography, "Living to Tell the Tale," was published here in 2003. So perhaps it's natural, after 10 years of looking back, that he has now treated himself, and his readers, to this sprightly, perverse little fable about looking forward

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
García Márquez, Gabrielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grossman, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morino, AngeloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ploetz, DagmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"He was not to do anything in bad taste, the woman
of the inn warned old Eguchi. He was not to put his
finger into the mouth of the sleeping girl, or try
anything else of that sort."

      - Yasunari Kawabata,
     House of the Sleeping Beauties
First words
The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.
El año de mis noventa años quise regalarme una noche de amor loco con una adolescente virgen.
Tisto leto, ko sem dopolnil devetdeset let, sem si zaželel podariti noč strastne ljubezni z deviškim dekletom.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
blurb: On the eve of his ninetieth birthday, our unnamed protagonist - an undistinguished journalist and lifelong bachelor - decided to give himself ‘the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.”
The virgin, whom an old madam procures for him, is splendidly young, with the silent power of a sleeping beauty. The night of love blossoms into a transforming year. It is a year in which he relives, in a rush of memories, his lifetime of paid for sexual adventures and experiences a revelation that brings him to the edge of dying - not of old age, but at long last of uncorrupted love.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 140004460X, Hardcover)

"The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin." So begins Memories of My Melancholy Whores, and it becomes even more unlikely as the novel unfolds. This slim volume contains the story of the sad life of an unnamed, only slightly talented Colombian journalist and teacher, never married, never in love, living in the crumbling family manse. He calls Rosa Cabarcas, madame of the city's most successful brothel, to seek her assistance. Rosa tells him his wish is impossible--and then calls right back to say that she has found the perfect girl.

The protagonist says of himself: "I have never gone to bed with a woman I didn't pay ... by the time I was fifty there were 514 women with whom I had been at least once ... My public life, on the other hand, was lacking in interest: both parents dead, a bachelor without a future, a mediocre journalist ... and a favorite of caricaturists because of my exemplary ugliness."

The girl is 14 and works all day in a factory attaching buttons in order to provide for her family. Rosa gives her a combination of bromide and valerian to drink to calm her nerves, and when the prospective lover arrives, she is sound asleep. Now the story really begins. The nonagenarian is not a sex-starved adventurer; he is a tender voyeur. Throughout his 90th year, he continues to meet the girl and watch her sleep. He says, "This was something new for me. I was ignorant of the arts of seduction and had always chosen my brides for a night at random, more for their price than their charms, and we had made love without love, half-dressed most of the time and always in the dark, so we could imagine ourselves as better than we were ... That night I discovered the improbably pleasure of contemplating the body of a sleeping woman without the urgencies of desire or the obstacles of modesty."

Márquez's style never falters throughout this recounting of his life and his exploration of love, found at an unexpected time and place. The erstwhile lover is still capable of being surprised--and fulfilled. After an absence of ten years, it is a treat to have another parable from the master. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:29 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Memories of My Melancholy Whores is Gabriel Garcia Marquez's first work of fiction in ten years, written at the height of his powers, the Spanish edition of which Ilan Stavans called, 'Masterful. Erotic. As hypnotizing as it is disturbing' (Los Angeles Times). On the eve of his ninetieth birthday, our unnamed protagonist-an undistinguished journalist and lifelong bachelor-decides to give himself 'the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.' The virgin, whom an old madam procures for him, is splendidly young, with the silent power of a sleeping beauty. The night of love blossoms into a transforming year. It is a year in which he relives, in a rush of memories, his lifetime of (paid-for) sexual adventures and experiences a revelation that brings him to the edge of dying-not of old age, but, at long last, of uncorrupted love. Memories of My Melancholy Whores is a brilliant gem by the master storyteller"--Publisher description.… (more)

» see all 14 descriptions

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