Audie Award Finalist, Classic, 2013
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds two people's lives together for more than half a century.
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career, he whiles away the years in 622 affairs - yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he does so again.
With humorous sagacity and consummate craft, Gabriel García Márquez traces an exceptional half-century of unrequited love. Though it seems never to be conveniently contained, love flows through the novel in many wonderful guises - joyful, melancholy, enriching, and ever surprising.
©1988 Gabriel García Márquez (P)2013 Blackstone Audio
Say something about yourself!
A passionate storyteller and a Pulitzer Prize winning author, Márquez warned those that wanted to define this book as a great love story not to fall into his *trap.* He doesn't set out to define love in Love in the Time of Cholera, instead he tells about the individual relationship his characters have with love throughout their lifetimes, how they express love, and how they experience love in all it's incarnations. Rather than define love, he almost makes the argument against defining love, showing that it is flowing and adaptable, and dependent on a myriad of variables. His characters experience lust, desire, passion, stability, all in the name of love -- that *malady for which there is no cure.* Love is not an emotion, but the destination in this novel.
Marquez's style of magical realism is perfectly matched to the period and characters in this Caribbean seaport village at the turn of the 19th century, where the local folklore and superstitions walk hand in hand with social and political reality. Three contrasting characters are central to the story and form the love triangle: Fermina Daza, the young local beauty; the older Dr. Juvenal Urbino, practical, stylish and much respected in town; and the hopeless romantic, and struggling workman Florentino Ariza, who provides most of the comedy due to his philandering ways and insistence that he is still a virgin in his heart -- which he also claims "has as many rooms as a whorehouse." Each has a singular conception of love. Márquez captures their conflicted spirits, as they age and adapt to their changing situations and environment, brilliantly. There's more comedy than romance in this bittersweet novel -- it's more about "emotions in motion" (as Mae West once said) than Love.
I understand the discrepancy in ratings. My own experience with Márquez got a shaky start when a friend (a literature major) handed me the book and said I would love it -- and I didn't. For at least 80 pages I struggled with the general foreignness and languid pace, and then it seemed as if I was suddenly tossed into a crazy tornado of passionate characters, sex, and intestinal problems. It seemed like a delirious opera takeoff of Don Juan. Whether timing or my own limitations (reading Spanish was a hurdle itself), the book was difficult for me to get into, but ultimately -- and several years later -- rewarding; it took me 3 times to finish this book, which I came to love. The translation is wonderfully done, and this narrator gives a great performance that enhanced the story without interpreting the characters for me.
There is a natural and unforced flow in Márquez's writing, that fits easily into your head, both because of his artistry and because of the emotional recognition in his stories. Even incorporating complex themes, his sentences sparkle with clarity and humanity. An Audible questionnaire asked which authors members would like to see available at Audible.com. I answered Gabriel Garcia Márquez, so I was thrilled to see some of his books on the menu (100 Years of Solitude would have been my choice for the first book, but I noticed it is coming soon). Considered a classic and one of the greatest books written, but I would limit my recommendation to those that want a beautifully written, bittersweet story to linger over and savor.
Read this when it first came out and loved it. I was totally under Marquez spell and still am but with a little distance I have to say that I can't give it 5 stars simply because I know 100 Years is coming and hoping for Patriarch and those are incredible. This love story is good but the writing style is different than those 2 and I wasn't quite as immersed in the world as I was with those. don't get me wrong, it's still head and shoulders above most of the junk that's out there, Marquez is a beautiful writer. & I noticed this time how the novel is structured in a manner that reflects the memories of the "lost love" and keeps building them through a life time. and of course the Marquez-ian themes of memory, nostalgia, love affects you like a disease, odd comical occurrences; but there aren't as many "magical realism" moments that i love so much from the others. but then again, someone else may love this more because it lacks those "fantastic" elements. This is in a way a rather realistic love story. I felt just a little removed from the story, like I was being told what happened instead of being in the action as I was with 100 & Patriarch.
However, I don't know what the 1 reviewer was saying about the sing song narration. His voice is a little raspy, very much like bob simon from 60 minutes, but his narration is fine and if there is a little lilt in it at times, i think it must be due to the characters names which have a little of that rhythm to them, but other than that I couldn't find it and I was looking for it due to that review.
In either case, kudos for finally getting Marquez, I've been waiting years for it and look forward to as much as they'll produce, I just hope they have the courage to do Patriarch (6 stars if it's done right) and all of the novellas and short stories. wonderful writer
This story is one of the classic romances that will live on forever. I have read it more than once, but it had been a while and I needed some romance in my life, so I went in search of it again. I was so pleased to find it had finally been made into an audiobook, my life is busier than it used to be, so I was able to listen to it wherever I went. The narrator, Armando Duràn, was a perfect fit for this story. I mean perfect. The animation in his voice captures the passion of their love, the excitement and the sorrow. Every emotion was conveyed with such conviction, you would believe he wrote the story himself and was recounting from his own memory. His performance was impeccable and the story was lovely as ever. I would recommend this audiobook to everyone who wants the experience of a masterpiece novel, played out by an exceptional narrator.
I enjoyed the audio version as much as the book version, largely because I am at a time in my life where I need to clean my house when I previously may have had time to read a book. It is an excellent narration, the tempo and voice matching my feelings when I read it, which always makes an audible book more appealing.
I enjoy everything Gabriel García Márquez has written. I like the honesty and cynicism in the women, the naive romanticism in the men. I enjoy the languid story of transformation, of metamorphosis and returning to vows and ideals of youthful folly.
I enjoy his pace and tempo. His American accent has just enough Hispanic intonation that it doesn't take away from the book, as so many Americans narrators do for me.
Javier Bardem makes this worth watching, but this book should never be replaced by a movie. Read the book first.
Thank you so much, Audible, for bringing Garcia Marquez to Audible!!!
I find very little love in this book. A young person might regard it as romantic. I see much which is the opposite. (I hope the following doesn't contain spoilers?!)
As adolescents, Florentino and Fermina fall in love. 'In love' is not the same as love. Her father has different ideas and wants what HE thinks is best for her. He doesn't consult her feelings, and acts in an autocratic, paternalistic manner which is probably indicative of the times. In some ways, this could be regarded as high-mindedly selfish.
Florentino undoubtedly sees himself as a poetically romantic hero who suffers his self-inflicted romantic martyrdom for 50plus years for the sake of his "love". I see in him a needy, obstinate and obsessive stalker who also wants his own way, regardless of the cost. At the same time, he's obsessed with sex, and uses up every female who allows him within spitting distance, to the point of paedophilia. His romantic martyrdom requires no honourable abstinence, no self-negation. His emptiness cries out to every lover in turn, and he "loves" them all, if to a greater or lesser extent.
At no stage does he show any acceptance of Fermina's choice in marriage, or appreciation for her apparent happiness. This would be an indication of a love less false.
Only in old age, when his tormented self-convincing 'love' for Fermina settles down into companionable affection is there any sense of realness about it.
Fermina's husband, by comparison, seems to have been the better choice after all, as he does leave one with a sense of his true love and caring.
I grew tired of listening to Florentino's sexcapades for the greater part of the book. Of all the women who nurtured and indulged him, but actually meant very little. It got very stale. It also got sickening, when he resorted to molesting a girl who smelled of "nappies", 60 years younger than himself, of whom he had guardianship. That begs a long-term prison sentence. We are not amused.
I wonder if all the corpses scattered throughout the book are symptomatic of all the bodies he used, abused, and left lying in the dust?
I'm not sure I would recommend this book to anyone. I can't say I actually enjoyed it.
This book has been sitting on my shelf unread for many years, so I welcomed the chance to listen to this audio version. I usually find classics well-worthy of their reputations as such, but I confess to being disappointed in this one. Perhaps that is the pitfall of having such high expectations.
The novel is an exploration of the many facets of love from the heterosexual male point of view. The female characters serve mainly as foils--as the objects of male attention, intention and obsession. Even the main female protagonist, Fermina, seems rather 2-dimensional--her actions mainly serving as the impetus for the actions, thoughts and feelings of the men who are drawn to her.
The cholera of the title is not accidental. Episodes of this plague occur at various points throughout the book, but more important are the parallels drawn between cholera and love. Love is likened to a disease--mercilessly consuming its victims and typically causing far more torment than pleasure. While certainly containing elements of truth, it is a fairly oppressive view of the nature of love.
The prose is beautiful--evocative of time and place, if at times slow-moving. The translation serves the work well as does the narration. It is certainly a book worth reading once, but I doubt I will want to return to it anytime soon.
Over the years, I've listened to over 350 unabridged, classic audiobooks. For some time I've waited for audiobooks by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of my favorite authors. I see that Audible is finally releasing several over the next few months, this being the first. Listening to this audiobook reaffirmed my appreciation of Marquez's greatness. Though the narrator's tone, diction, and pronunciation is excellent, and his casting is perfect, sadly he employed a singsong pattern of starting sentences with a higher pitch and then trailing off as he finished. If he had done this a couple of times it wouldn't have been that bad. But to do it for 16 hours became annoying. I do not blame him one jot. He is very talented and I've listened to him on other audiobooks in which he did not do this. I blame Audible 100%. If the producer (if there was one) had simply told the narrator one time, "Your voice pattern is a little singsong. Listen to this example," I'm sure the problem would have been immediately corrected. To waste this great novel and the talents of a very good narrator is unexcusable. Even still, the story itself is so great that I highly recommend you give it a listen. It's well worth the money. It's just a shame that I had to rate this audiobook anything less than 5 stars. Thanks.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
I pestered Audible so long about this book, having heard nothing but glowing things about it for so many years (and no time to read the paper version). So I rushed to put it in my queue as soon as it came out. Garcia Marquez has said that you have to be very careful not to fall into his trap. I wish I knew what he thought his trap was. Is it about love in old age? Is it about immorality disguised as faithfulness? Is it about the unreliability of the characters' appraisal of people and events? Is it about something else entirely? I will probably never know.
First of all, the prose is beautiful. Even in translation, you get the sense of an author with a gift for finding the right word and the felicitous phrase. The book is simply littered with insightful observations about life and humanity. Second, the characters are solidly created. We are interested in them, even as we sense that they may not be people we personally would like to know. And therein lies my uneasiness with this book. The more we get to know these characters, the more ordinary they seem, and--especially with Florentino--the more troubling their moral outlook on life becomes. Garcia Marquez leads us step by step down the proverbial primrose path, and I can follow as long as I suspend disbelief. I have more of a problem with it in the cold light of day.
Reader, Atty, CPA, Dad, Musicmaker, Wordsmith, Dad
In his ballad to Love (with a capital "L"), "Love in the Time of Cholera," Marquez's effortless, orchestral prose honors Love's many wondrous forms, reminisces the joys of loving and probes the pain unbearable from losing her.
Above all though, this novel sounds the sureness of Love's stamina (with just a bit of watering) and her strength to grow and grow, even as the body goes.
The narrator does an excellent job with the narration. I wish the publisher had agreed when it instead, after losing Jimmy Smits and Hector Elizondo successively as narrators for Marquez's 100 Years of Solititude, chose about the most white-bread, stuffy and passionless narrator in all Audibleland- John Lee. Oh well.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr., born this day (1/15) in 1929.
Why on earth? My reaction is the antithesis of three words.
The Pantheon of profound books.
The opening right through to the closing.
Please. Give us poor listeners more credit.
Nonetheless, thank you for taking the financial risks entailed and providing us with a wider choice. Please try to continue working at the battle lines to ensure that available titles are not reductionist in intention. There remains a market for the more arcane, perhaps, although I detest labelling a terrific story, beautifully written..as arcane.
Others like me may no longer have a choice. We can't read. We can only listen.
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