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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Classic, 2014

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Anne
  • ASHLAND, OR, United States
  • 09-05-13

Timeless Romance, brought to life by Armando Duràn

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.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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In Love With Love

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.






57 of 65 people found this review helpful

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The Sublime Disease of Love

I decided to revisit this book in memory of Gabriel Garcia Marquez who just passed away. It brought back all the reasons I've loved his writing. Complex characters who evolve with the story, incredible descriptions that pull you into the settings; they become characters in their own right.

Marquez reminds us that love is not benevolent. It is a wasting disease. But we wouldn't be human without it.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Vira
  • Pretoria, South Africa
  • 09-02-13

When love is sick

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.

Good narration.

40 of 47 people found this review helpful

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Love to Love You Baby

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Marquez is great, awaiting 100 Years

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

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Kelsey
  • BLACK EAGLE, MT, United States
  • 09-10-13

Garcia Marquez appeals to the jaded and romantic

Would you consider the audio edition of Love in the Time of Cholera to be better than the print version?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

What does Armando Durán bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Javier Bardem makes this worth watching, but this book should never be replaced by a movie. Read the book first.

Any additional comments?

Thank you so much, Audible, for bringing Garcia Marquez to Audible!!!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Love Never Tires

I absolutely love Gabriel Garcia Marquez! His magic realism had me laughing. His romance panting! Excellent performance as well#

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Barry
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 02-24-14

Wildly entertaining but vaguely troubling

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Love Indeed

What did you love best about Love in the Time of Cholera?

It shows that love is worth waiting for. It is interesting that being from the Caribbean, I was able to understand some of the prejudices in the book. The stereo types that existed are ever present in that part of the world today.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Love in the Time of Cholera?

The Trip on the river boat! I had a vivid image of the mosquitoes and the oppressive heat with no AC!

What about Armando Durán’s performance did you like?

I love the fact that he read with an accent. It added the right flavor and atmosphere to evoke the feeling that was created in the characters in the book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, no extreme reactions, although there were sad moments.

Any additional comments?

Old age is sad but in this story is was romantic!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ruth Mary Branigan
  • 01-06-17

Simply Beautiful

For a while, I liked the male protagonist in spite of myself. By the end I loved him in spite of everything.

A simple story made exquisite by Marquez's gorgeous language, his keen but gentle observation. So many sentences could be lifted from the story and applied to the world at large.

The book is achingly romantic - no mean feat considering that many of the relationships described are at best fleeting, at worst downright shocking. Many of the encounters in this story are based on casual sex (at times, not even consensual - hence my ambivalence towards Fiorentino Arisa), but when it comes to the main love story, every word and gesture is intense, significant and explored at length.

Armando Duran narrates beautifully. The timbre of his voice is just lovely and his wise and knowing tone lends itself perfectly to the prose. This might in part explain why I was able to dismiss some of Don Fiorentino's misdemeanours.

Come to think of it, some of his actions are downright unforgivable. Clearly I'll need some more time to deliberate on the characters. But the romance of the novel just swept me away.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • J Z A
  • 08-27-15

Its Very Long

If you could sum up Love in the Time of Cholera in three words, what would they be?

Immersive,<br/>Lyrical<br/>Long

What about Armando Durán’s performance did you like?

I particularly enjoyed his enjoyment of the language. It was fully articulated and the rolling and complicated Spanish names and culture was laid out in a way that was surprising givenit was read in English.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Everything comes to he who waits

Any additional comments?

The book is very long. The first half and the last quarter were great but once things had been established it became repetitive until it got close to the very enjoyable conclusions.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Mini
  • 11-16-15

Do you like Marmite?

From looking at other reviews, this does seem to be a bit of a "marmite book". I had been looking forward to 'hearing' this since it had been on many people's "top" list of books. It was a struggle to finish it... the characters are just given no "depth". There's something strange about the way it's written (someone who understands literature styles might be able to define it!).

So, I found the characters confusing and just not "likeable" at any level. Such a disappointment. Yes, the odd insightful sentence but left me like someone who's just taken that accidental mouthful of marmite on toast... I got to the end... but it wasn't what I would call enjoyable!

17 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Wras
  • 08-22-15

Only God knows how much I have loved you

Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall in love in their youth but circumstances, family and society keeps them apart he chooses to love her best of all and wait for the opportunity to reunite, rejecting all other possibilities of making a life with other women but not of enjoying the moments. She on the other hand marries Dr. Juvenal Urbino,and with time learns to love him. This loves are not perfect or without struggles they are real and frail like life itself, and so it is that when the Doctor dies and Fermina is approached by Florentino and his persistent love; she receives him with her resistant love.
The story begins with these events but develops through the retelling of the years in between from 1880 to 1930 there is humor, romanticism, magical realities in small doses and reality in large spoon fools like florentino confronting the consequences of successful business life on a trip down a river he had known in his childhood and discovering a river destroyed and devastated by his actions. This book also confronts the problems of older couples without embellishments or excuses something truly revolutionary and commendable for it allows love to be greater than a romanticised notion.

The reader was efficient and clear. I suspect the accent is real.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew C.
  • 03-17-17

simply magnificent A perfect story.

Beautifully told tale I never wanted to end. A rich tapestry of life from a different time.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Spyri Dela
  • 06-27-16

I unfortunately found this book very boring

I don't get the point of the story really and it had super long descriptions. Maybe in other times this may have been interesting. Funished it just to check it off my list

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • alanmc
  • 08-29-17

Not enough cholera plenty of love

Frankly don't know what they saw in her
She sounded a bit shallow
Plot spoiler - sadly she didn't die of infectious disease.
Could see why Louis de bernieres copied all of the. good ideas though
Thankfully hardly any magical realism

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  • Roly
  • 07-14-17

A feast for the senses

This is an intricately woven story, with powerful characterisations and personalities, history, culture, fable and idiosyncrasy skilfully blended into an unforgettable experience.  The narration is authentic and the pace subtlety measured, augmenting the emotion and humour of the novel. There is spectrum of visceral romance, human and emotional truisms, folly and pathos that are compelling and engaging. For those that have enjoyed Marquez this book is a must. No surprises he received the Nobel prize for literature ! 

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  • AWH
  • 06-21-17

Deathly dull classic

I know this is supposed to be a classic of literature but I found it to be the literary equivalent of watching paint dry. Something which might have made a decent short story dragged out to novel length. Yes the writing is beautiful but that on its own doesn't make a good listen

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  • Baronessnewt
  • 05-26-14

Complicated

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I found the characters rather confusing. They kept going back and forth in time as well.

Would you recommend Love in the Time of Cholera to your friends? Why or why not?

I don't think so. I found the narration was not easy to listen to. The story rather confusing.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I suppose so. I did not like the accent but it was probably correct for the setting of the story.

Did Love in the Time of Cholera inspire you to do anything?

No.

9 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Danelle Kenny
  • 10-05-14

A meander through the ages and stages

[{ "answer" : "delightful, poignant, unpredictable", "type" : "Overall", "question" : "If you could sum up Love in the Time of Cholera in three words, what would they be?", "id" : 44, "typeString" : "overall" }, { "answer" : "To date there is nothing quite like it that I've read, the movie 'as good as it gets' deals with similar themes. ", "type" : "Story", "question" : "What other book might you compare Love in the Time of Cholera to, and why?", "id" : 2, "typeString" : "story" }, { "answer" : "His accent lent itself very nicely to the blend of Spanish in the text ", "type" : "Performance", "question" : "What about Armando Durán’s performance did you like?", "id" : 27, "typeString" : "performance" }, { "answer" : "No, this book is definitely designed for Sunday afternoons sipping a good drink or taking a long bath. It is quite a slow book, though very well written. It deserves the time to soak it in.", "type" : "Genre", "question" : "Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?", "id" : 55, "typeString" : "genre" }, { "answer" : "", "type" : "Misc", "question" : "Any additional comments?", "id" : -1, "typeString" : "misc" } ]

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicky1704
  • 06-09-16

Brilliant Perspectives on Love by Literary Genius

Read this 30 years ago & wonderful to listen on Audible now. I got so much more out of this wonderful story. Rich colourful & meaningful language.Excellent! the narrator brought the story to life as if it was read by Marquez himself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful