"Memories of My Melancholy Whores" is Gabriel Garcia Marquez's first work of fiction in ten years, and it fully lives up to the expectations of his critics, readers, and fans of all ages and nationalities. "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" introduces us to a totally new genre of Garcia Marquez's writing. It is a fairy tale for the aged - a story ...
"Memories of My Melancholy Whores" is Gabriel Garcia Marquez's first work of fiction in ten years, and it fully lives up to the expectations of his critics, readers, and fans of all ages and nationalities. "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" introduces us to a totally new genre of Garcia Marquez's writing. It is a fairy tale for the aged - a story that celebrates the belated discovery of amorous passion in old age. This enticingly sensual, yet at the same time innocent adventure tells of an unnamed second-rate reporter who on the eve of his ninetieth birthday decides to give himself 'a night of mad love with a virgin adolescent'. In a little more than 100 pages, Garcia Marquez proceeds to describe a series of encounters that is hypnotising and disturbing. When he first sees the chosen girl - a shy fourteen-year-old, whom he calls Delgadina - asleep, entirely naked, in the brothel room, his life begins to change completely. He never speaks to her nor does he learn anything about her, nor she of him. But, her presence spurs the aged pensioner to recall his experiences with the other women in his life, all whores by profession, all paid to perform for him the acts of love. But, now he realizes that 'sex is the consolation one has for not finding enough love'. Smitten, he screams of his love from the rooftops, which for him means writing about it in his weekly newspaper columns, and in return, he becomes the most famous man in his town. Love has always been a major theme in Garcia Marquez's writing. It is often visualized in his fiction as a source of endurance, a bulwark against the rush of time's passage. In "Love in the Time of Cholera", he celebrated a love that was almost fifty years in forming, modelling it on the courtship of his own grandparents. This last novel, written at the peak of the author's fame, is another illustration of its tranformative power. "Memories of My Melancholy Whores", written in Garcia Marquez's incomparable style, movingly contemplates the misfortunes of old age, and celebrates the joys of being in love.
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Perhaps not for everyone, but a lovely story, sort of reverse "coming of age". Marquez is a fine story teller and an astute observer. I much preferred this to Solitude.
Mar 31, 2011
Have not read the book...
This was a gift a send to a friend, and a have not hear anything negative about it, sorry that this review can not be very helpful.
Mar 25, 2008
An Unsavory Taste
Published in 2005, Memories of My Melancholy Whores is novella length, 115 pages long. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1982 Nobel Prize winner in literature, is best known for One Hundred Years of Solitude, an epic saga of the Buendia family, founders of the town called Macondo, that encompasses all of Latin American history.
This latest novel has neither the scope nor the exuberant invention of Garcia Marquez's masterpiece, but eddies along on a leisurely elegant prose, reminding me of Maria Vargas Llosa's erotic fictions. Contrary to the book's blurbs, it has less to do with Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita than with fellow Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata's House of the Sleeping Beauties, which is cited in Garcia Marquez's epigraph. Like Kawabata's novel, Garcia Marquez's 90-year-old narrator, a cable editor for El Diario de la Paz, observes the somnolent form of a virginal prostitute who is fatigued from sewing buttons all day. In the process, this aging roue at the tail-ends of life awakens to the possibility of love.
Garcia Marquez has investigated the varieties of human love, even the transgressive, in earlier novels, but this novel's focus is narrow, and its object of desire is barely sentient. One can barely call the pairing "a relationship." As in Kawabata's short novel, there is a kind of fetishizing of the female body. For new readers, I would recommend instead One Hundred Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera. This valedictory novel by Garcia Marquez leaves a slightly unsavory taste in the mouth.
Jun 24, 2007
This book is simply gorgeous. Although if you just try to describe the subject matter to someone, it may seem shocking. Garcia has a humanity and honesty in his writing that allows the story of a love affair between a man in his nineties and a young virgin.
It takes an entire lifetime for this one man to learn how to truly love. There is hope out there for all of us.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-22 Garcia Murquez's slim, reflective contribution to the romance of the brothel, his first book-length fiction in a decade, is narrated by perhaps the greatest connoisseur ever of girls for hire. After a lifetime spent in the arms of prostitutes (514 when he loses count at age 50), the unnamed journalist protagonist decides that his gift to himself on his 90th birthday will be a night with an adolescent virgin. But age, followed by the unexpected blossoming of love, disrupts his plans, and he finds himself wooing the allotted 14-year-old in silence for a year, sitting beside her as she sleeps and contemplating a life idly spent. Flashes of GarcIa Murquez's brilliant imagery-the sleeping girl is "drenched in phosphorescent perspiration"-illuminate the novella, and there are striking insights into the euphoria that is the flip side of the fear of death. The narrator's wit and charm, however, are not enough to counterbalance the monotony of his aimlessness. Though enough grace notes are struck to produce echoes of eloquence, this flatness keeps the memories as melancholy as the women themselves. 250,000 first printing. (Nov. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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