Thursday, November 03, 2005

Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A timeless love story of an ageless Ninety year old!
"Make no mistake: Peaceful madmen are ahead of future." Gabriel Garcia Marquez creates yet another magical, mystic, beautiful piece of literature in his Memories of my melancholy whores. This is his most easily accessible, readable work that I have come across, and yet it is so deeply romantic, sad yet engaging that I read through it in one sitting. Like the opening sentence of this review, Marquez packs punch with many really memorable remarks. Another example: I learnt, in short, love is not a condition of the spirit but a sign of the zodiac.

A ninety year old in love with a teenager boggles the mind, but the description is full of the same melancholy and joy as is of love, and the prose flows like a stream of poetry strewn with the genius of the writer. In fact, I cannot help smiling to myself thinking of the following sentences uttered at two different occasions in the novel:

Sex is the consolation you have when you can't have love.

I kept interrupting whatever I was doing to call her, and I repeated this for days on end until I realized that it was a phone without a heart.

This is a love story par excellence, and benefits from the creativity of the master at the height of his powers. There are only a handful of characters here, in fact just four or five, and the story is tastefully erotic and deliciously disturbing tale of love. In fact, after reading the novel, all I could repeat to myself (again from the novel itself) was: Ah, me, if this is love, then how it torments!


Reshmi said...

i have read only 2 of Marquez's books so far and read the reviews of most others.
to me, it feels like he wrote one big long story interspersed with several within it, and someone cleverly edited it to produce several books :D
the ideas and the thots still connect them
the feeling i get is; of reading the complete story of one of the characters/ideas intro-ed in the other book. like for e.g. ur description of "memories ....." reminds me of parts of "love in the time of cholera".

Vivek said...


I agree with you that he tends to reproduce stuff and characters that resemble each other all the time. What is fascinating is how these stories are interrelated and yet each is so engaging on its own.

tocsin said...

Thanks for the review. I guess it is time to read Marquez again. Somehow he fell out of my radar. Because, he does work the same territory again and again.