Grayswandir (_grayswandir_) wrote,

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After more than a month, I finally finished reading Gabriel García Márquez's The General in His Labyrinth. (Not that it's long -- it isn't. I just haven't had much time for reading lately.)

It was very good. It's a historical novel -- a fictionalized account of the last months of the life of General Simón Bolívar, "The Liberator," who secured independence from Spain for a number of Latin American countries. But the story isn't about heroics, conquests, or successes of any kind. The General is mentally and physically exhausted, and indeed almost an invalid, at the age of 47. The themes are much like those of One Hundred Years of Solitude -- decline and disillusionment and destitution. And, well... solitude.

I'm not sure what to say about it except that it's Márquez: simple and vivid, bleak, sincere, unforgivingly human, at once profound and mundane. I can't even put spoilers behind a cut, because there are no spoilers. It's not that kind of novel. There isn't climax or resolution or twists or surprising revelations... there's just this meandering account of the General's final journey, interwoven with memories and reflections on his former glory, successes tainted with the growing realization of futility.

Needless to say, I enjoyed it a great deal. I need to find more books like this one.

(ETA: Oh, hey. I just found this One Hundred Years of Solitude icon I made for a roleplay sockpuppet, like, two years ago. *keeps it*)
Tags: books, gabriel garcía márquez, literature
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