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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By J Z A on 27-08-15
Its Very Long
If you could sum up Love in the Time of Cholera in three words, what would they be?
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.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful
By Ruth Mary Branigan on 06-01-17
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
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anne on 05-09-13
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.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful
By Mel on 04-09-13
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.
61 of 69 people found this review helpful