As an avid fantasy reader, I don’t usually stray into the genres of magical realism or philosophy. So what am I doing reading a novel that brought magical realism into the public sphere? Credit for this one goes to my landlady. One morning, I found 100 Years of Solitude in a plastic bag hanging from my doorknob. My landlady told me it was her favorite book and that I must read it. To be honest, the title gave me pause and I didn’t like the book when I started reading it. In fact, I thought it was quite boring until around page 300. But having finished the book, I must say that I’m glad I took a detour from what I normally read to humor my landlady.
Gabriel García Márquez has been compared to the famous Spanish writer Cervantes, and likewise his most popular novel has been compared to Don Quixote. American novelist William Kennedy once praised 100 Years of Solitude as “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.” I wouldn’t go that far … but anyway the book did win Márquez the Nobel Prize in Literature. I agree a little more with the following quote by John Leonard of the New York Times: “It is the genius of the mature Gabriel García Márquez that fatalism and possibility somehow coexist, that dreams redeem, that there is laughter even in death. Not being a genius, I don’t know how he does it, but I am grateful.”