‘Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. ‘
These lines adorn the back cover of the book, and deservedly too since they form one of the best moments in the book. A moment of peace and yet turmoil, a moment of deep and unforgiving solitude, a moment lost in the search of the forgotten nostalgia, a moment where you are overtaken by the feeling that you are a ghost; not from the past but from the future whose entire life has been lived up without a trace of a memory. These moments are time-less, literally as if the time has stopped. Indeed that is the theme around which the book revolves.
Yes, it is that kind of book. A book where you feel lost in the dusty, narrow streets of the fictional town Macondo breathed to life by its author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Marquez is almost a magician. There are moments in this book when you are one with the characters going through the vicissitudes of life, celebrating their happiness and one with their mourning. Few authors have the power of captivating their reader into such a state. Marquez, true to his reputation, is one of them.
Pipes and kettledrums herald the arrival of the gypsies on their yearly visit to Mocando a town founded by Jose Arcadio Buendia and his strong willed wife Ursula. Through plagues of insomnia, civil war, hauntings and vendettas, the many tribulations of the Buendia household are captured by the author. The book has more happening and events in a single page than most books have over their complete length ! You won’t be able to drop it.
Through the story of the Buendia household the author has documented all of the human history and endeavour. A Remarkable achievement. It is one of the few great novels of our time.
PS: Every character in this book is named either Jose Arcadio or Aureliano and there are about a 100 characters. So be sure to read it quickly.