Includes a bonus PDF with a character chart!
One of the twentieth century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize–winning career.
The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.
Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility, the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth—these universal themes dominate the novel. Alternately reverential and comical, One Hundred Years of Solitude weaves the political, personal, and spiritual to bring a new consciousness to storytelling. Translated into dozens of languages, this stunning work is no less than an account of the history of the human race.
©1964 Gabrriel García Márquez (P)2013 Blackstone Audio
If I could've followed the characters in the story. Even while consulting an online family tree diagram I was still lost. The first hour or two of the story was really quiet enjoyable and I was eagerly anticipating the rest of the book but somehow it took a bad turn and it literally became incomprehensible to me.
We are water by Wally Lamb
This is one of the best books I've ever read. I've read it twice when I was in high school and was very intrigued by the complexity of the story. If you ever read it in paperback version, you'd know what I mean. The hierarchy of the family is complex with the same names being repeated over and over again, so it is a must to keep track of the hierarchy to fully understand the repetition of life and fate among the characters. Also, there are many small and subtle details throughout the story that convey lots of meaning, which is why I read it twice.
Well, all of those went wrong in this audio version. The narration is so fast that delivers almost no comprehension. Although I opened the hierarchy diagram from wiki while listening (which is very awkward and inconvenient), I got lost sometimes by very fast-paced narrating of names. Also, The break between paragraphs and stop/pause between sentences are terribly executed. I tried to slown down to 0.75x, but it was too much echo, so I gave up eventually.
I'm waiting for the kindle version to literally read it again and to enjoy every single detail of the story. It is truly a very good book.
I love to be read to!
I had read this book years ago and loved it. When the author died recently I thought I would love to experience the book again. For me listening to this book is an excersize in frustration. The characters names are so similar that I cannot keep them apart and this is ruining the experience. With a book I can underline, check back easily and even keep crib notes but not in audio. For me audio books have limitations and this is one of them.
He is much too aggressive in his voice. It feels like I am being yelled at during the reading. He also is pretty consistant in this voice and so there is no break from his heightened voice.
I do not recommend this audiobook.
very very hard to listen to, had been very excited and impressed with Audible books until this one, much less excited and thought about canceling.
Perhaps in print, definitely not through this performance
not after this one
Many friends over the years have recommended this book so when it came out on Audible and with John Lee narrating, I jumped at the chance. Besides finding it impossible to keep the characters straight, i just didn't care about them. Some reviewers have said it is better to read and have a chart of the characters for reference which I agree. I thought about looking online for this but ultimately just stopped listening because the storyjust did not interest me.
I have enjoyed John Lee in the past but this is not his best work.
Sorry I wasted my credit but happy to listen to something else.
New Englander Living in Latin America
I waited 3 months to hear the promised narration by Jimmy Smits to come out in December, then that just disappeared. Then Edward James Olmos was the promised narrater to come out in January, I ended up paying for narrator John Lee who's a fine narrator, but he sounds like Sean Connery (almost) telling a story about ancient Columbia. I've sent 2 emails, both ignored, to Audible for an explanation.
There's no end to the engagement of listless and confused men with pathetic, skinny and abused prostitutes. Then there's the woman who sucks her finger and eats dirt and a host of other tawdry characters that apparently I missed what pearls of wisdom they are demonstrating about the supposed Latin culture detailed here by Marquez. I lived in Latin America for 4 years and thankfully it was much more interesting and sophisticated than this.
He wasn't Latin. He wasn't Jimmy Smits or James Edward Olmos.
I want a refund from Audio for selling me an audio book not narrated by the person I was buying it to hear.
No. Reading the book, the story is difficult to follow. Listening to it is even more difficult. Unless you have a familiarity with the book, it's probably best not to try to it.
In addition, the narrator was totally inappropriate for this book and he really took me out of the book with his Scottish/British accent.
A new narrator is needed. I recently listened to Love in the Time of Cholera and Armando Duran's narration was excellent. I was disappointed to see that John Lee, not Duran, was narrating this. Lee's performance took me totally out of the novel.
This novel is difficult and listening to it without having first read it, will not be easy. In any case, do not listen to this version. Wait for a more appropriate narrator. I recommend Armando Duran.
I truly loved One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Listening to the Audible version was a pleasure, but I think actually reading the book might have been better. The story follows the lives and struggles of the Buendia family and the village of Macondo for a period of one hundred years. Having a family tree to view and being able to look back in the book would have been helpful. That being said, the beauty of the story and language made a great audiobook, too. My only regret is that I was not able to read the original in Spanish, which I’m sure, would be even better. Great narrator!
The flowing, stream-of-thought prose. Very enjoyable!
I couldn't pick one. They were all quirky, flawed, funny and likeable.
Everything! His perfect pronunciation of place names and character names is flawless and unlike other readers, I felt that his unaccented English narration in no way detracted from the story. He is the narrator after all and not one of the characters.
I don't think it could be enjoyed in the depth it deserves in one sitting.
Well worth the purchase.
I'll be honest, it was rough at times but I loved the book so much more when I understood a lot more in the end and now I appreciate the parts that were harder for me in the middle of the book.
Ps. The audio book saved my life.
"Beautiful story - poor performance!"
If the the narrator would not immitate an accent, and interpret all the women of every age as sounding like a cliché of drowsy, tired and yet mysterious old ladies. He turned the characters into parodies.
Yes - as I have previously read this book, I know that my bad experience is not based on the story but on the narrator
As previously mentioned, he turned the entire thing into a parody on south-american people - especially women! AND his accent was very weird - why roll the r's like that?
Sometimes you could hear the difference between takes - like a skip in the recording or a change in volume.
"Awful reader, especially of women."
John Lee reads each sentence with a pompous and repetitive tone that is utterly divorced from its meaning, a real shame for a writer with such deftness and subtlety. The most offensive part of his performance, however, is his insistence on reading any female speech in the book with a ludicrous, breathy voice, thus undermining every female character. Can you imagine how farcical it would be if a female reader decided to do a comically deep and macho 'caveman voice' every time she spoke for a male character?! So off-putting I almost abandoned the damn thing on several occasions.
"Right book wrong reader"
Classic book & shame that no one will like it due to the reader
Possibly if it was non fiction
So many strong Latin American voices...shame for such a classic book the producers screwed up with the choice of voice
About this performance: the narrator makes all the characters sound pretty much the same. In a story where many characters already share first names, it would have helped to give them some individuality by varying the voices. I can see how this reading might correspond to the abstract spirit of the novel, but I found the listening experience monotonous. The book didn't come alive to me.
Keeping this short, there's hardly much I might add with any elaborate analysis to the wonder that is Márquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude". It's funny, and I mean laugh-out-loud funny, it's emotionally draining; exquisitely written, both poetic and perceptive, it's full of great characterization, all sorts of interesting turns of events and all this narrated with precise, economically beautiful language.
The audiobook was delayed, for some reason, and only released this year. John Lee's narration seems to draw the ire of many, but I for one absolutely loved his reading. True, at first I was shocked – the ebb and flowing of his sentences felt idiosyncratic and I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. But I continued listening, and very soon I found myself acknowledging that Márquez's narration is just as idiosyncratic, if not more. I was enticed by the words and the voice. In the end I was so involved I was sad when I was finished.
I think this is a wonderful audiobook, not only because the book is among my all-time favorites, but also because of Lee's performance. I've never heard any of his audiobooks before, and he sounds a bit like a musing Hugo Weaving or a Raul Hilberg. This book sold me on the idea of finding more works read by him.
"just simply fantastic."
An odyssey brought to life. Magical Realism at its very best. A must listen for all Marquez fans.
"Storytelling at its best"
One of the most emotive and engrossing stories I've ever experienced. I was recommended the book by a friend and tried the audio version, I'm glad I did.
"What an apt title"
In high school English class, we learned about the run-on sentence.
I appreciate the cultural relevance of this book to Latin Americans and related scholars; however, not being one, there is absolutely nothing here for me to relate to, to clutch at, no common frame of reference, nothing universal enough to compensate for my blatant Europeanism. I hung on for a good few hours... but eventually lost my grip and gave up.
Probably not, unless highly recommended by someone who's read this review
Lively, theatrical, appropriate for this material
Reading some literary critiques and analysis helped me see the qualities - the political relevance, the symbolism.
"boring and iincomprehensible"
I had read another book by this author and enjoyed it very much. I was therefore very disapppointed that i did not enjoy this book. in fact, i didnt finish it and I rarely give up on a book. It would have been more enjoyable with more personal character storyline instead of endless talk of war.
more interesting characters
John lee was fine as a narrator
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