One Hundred Years of Solitude begins with Jose Arcadio Buendia founding the village of Macondo. The story covers a period of one hundred years, during which Jose Arcadio’s descendants encounter war, love, death, loss, insanity, and a whole lotta inbreeding (I swear, half the male characters in this book end up having children with their aunts), while the village of Macondo progresses to a town, a busy industrial city, and is then destroyed by floods. In this story, time is a wheel, and history is not made, it’s repeated, on and on, until the axle of the wheel breaks from wear.
This story has elements of fantasy to it (gypsies who sell flying carpets in the market, a ghost, and a man who’s followed everywhere he goes by yellow butterflies) but still seems realistic. It’s a tragic story, but the author inserted humor into the most unexpected places.
The only problem I had with this book is the characters’ total lack of creativity when it came to naming their children. All the males’ names are combinations of the names Jose, Arcadio, and Aureliano, and being able to distinguish Jose Arcadio from his son Arcadio got a little confusing. But a family tree is provided at the beginning of the book, and that helped a lot.
Verdict: four out of five stars