Sunday, January 08, 2012

One Hundred Years of Solitude

(One Hundred Pages) of One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Márquez


I have two major rules.  They are:

1) The One-Mile Rule
2) The Hundred-Page Rule

The One-Mile Rule is my running rule.  The subset rules of this major rule involve running a mile.  The rule says I must run a mile.  And if I feel like crap after that one mile, then I can call it quits.  But no matter how crappy I feel, no matter how grumpy, or bloated, or bored, or no matter how bad the head hurts, just give it a mile.  If, after that one mile is over, I still feel the yuck, I can turn around and call it a day.

I have used the One-Mile Rule many times.  As of today, I've yet to call it quits after that first mile.  Usually a mile is all it takes for me to realize that "Hey!  This is fun.  I feel okay.  Let's keep going."

I also have a reading rule.  It's called the Hundred-Page rule.  The subset rules of this rule mandates that I must read a hundred pages.  If I've finished a hundred pages, and the book is either horribly dull or too much work to enjoy, then I can toss it aside and get a new one.  After all, reading is entertainment now, not work.

I read tax instructions for pay (meaning it's my job.)  Nothing is more work than reading tax instructions.  Therefore, if my entertainment selection is even the slightest amount of work, I say it's a no go.   Being an adult is great sometimes, isn't it?  Like, you totally get to choose what you want to read and when.

Incidentally, it's prolly not a good idea to tell your teenagers that one of the highlights of adulthood is choosing your own book.  Might give 'em a sense of impending doom.  I can hear it now.  Wait... What...?  Choosing your own book is one of the perks of being an adult...?   What the...?  That's it?  Not a million dollars or a mansion?  Or Disneyland every weekend?  

I gave One Hundred Years of Solitude a hundred pages.  Nothing happened, really.  Except for the father of the clan went nuts and they tied him to a tree.  That was exciting.  Also, there was a sister-chick fight over marrying some piano forte dealer who came to town, and one of the sister-chicks tried to poison the other sister-chick, but then the poison ended up killing their sweet, innocent, peace-making sister-in-law.

Other than the excitement listed above... oh and one of the brothers spent the night with a gypsy.  She ended up with child, then the brother bailed town, and the gypsy dumped the baby on the front porch for the family to raise.   So I guess there was some excitement.  But it just wasn't exciting.  Nothing really happened.  And when something did happen, like the traveling gypsy magician died, the author just said, "He died.  And they mourned for a year."  Or something like that.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a family affair.  A tale that chronicles the entire this 'n thats of three generations.  All three generations, however, have the same dang name.  I guess that's a thing – this naming your offspray after yourself.  All three main characters had the same name and I could not keep track of who did what with whom and when.

Anyway, I gave One Hundred Years of Solitude its symbolic hundred pages, found it too much work, and took it back to the library.  I've since picked up Great Expectations.  I'm into that masterpiece sixteen blissful pages.  This one will pass the hundred page rule.


Winder said...

I purchased this book due to a book club or class or something. Never read it. Gave it to my brother- in-law as he has more time to read than me lately. I asked him to give it a try and see if it would be worth my precious reading time. He read about the same as you and ended with the same result.

Jessica said...

I have a book by the same dude sitting on my shelf. Ugh. We'll see how it goes with that one.

I feel the same way about Hemingway, by the way. You?

Faceless Ghost said...

This is interesting. If 100 Years of Solitude isn't my favorite book, it comes close. I've read it twice in English and twice in Spanish, and I'm pretty sure I haven't read it for the last time.

If you didn't like the first 100 pages, you probably won't like the rest through, because it's just more of the same.

rabidrunner said...

Jessica, give your other book a try. It might be a good one. Hemingway was always too depressing. I just didn't ever get his "vibe." Steinbeck, on the other hand, is depressing but I got his "vibe." Not that Hemingway and Steinbeck are similar, just both depressing is all.

Faceless Ghost, hello and welcome! So, while I was reading it, I thought perhaps the magic might have been lost in the translation. Did you like it better in Spanish? It wasn't that I disliked the book, I just couldn't get "into" it. If you know what I mean.

Faceless Ghost said...

The language sounds kind of funny in English, so that could be. Of course, since I'm not a native Spanish speaker I might just not realize how funny it sounds in Spanish.

Garcia Marquez has a style that sounds (and probably is) pretty pretentious, so I can understand why you would just stop reading. In fact, I'm not a huge fan of a lot of what he's written. But for some reason, I really like this one book.

Jessica said...

I've never read Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, but I like his other stuff.

Hemingway was just soooooo sloooooww.

Makell said...

Funny- I loved this book! I read it in college so it's been awhile, but I kept it so I could reread it. It reminds me of Gregory Maguire's books a little bit-did you ever read Wicked? It's that magical realism stuff that is just quirky enough to keep me interested.
I have a new one for you- Mutant Message Down Under.
Read it?