Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
After reading two of his earlier mind-blowing books that simply refuse to go off my memory even after six months of reading them – I can certainly claim that GGM is one of my all time favorite writers now. The current book in discussion is such a change from his usual works – unbelievable that it comes from the writer of ‘Chronicles of a Death Foretold” and “100 years of Solitude”. Also, this is now onwards going to be one of my all-time favorite love stories too that I will have to read again and again every year without fail. Right from the first chapter and the very first few pages – I just couldn’t help but fall in love with Dr. Juvenal Urbino and his best friend Jeremiah de Saint-Amour and of-course their game of Chess. Dr and his wife Fermina Daza’s story is simply hilarious and I must say the little tiff’s between the two characters even after being married for 50+ years are simply outstanding. It became one of that book which actually made me laugh out loud so much that my kiddo asked me if I have gone mad reading a book 🙂 – just imagine. If you have read the book you would precisely know and agree with that Soap vanishing from toilet episode, the little crazy parrot, the luncheon and the heartbreaking accident in the end of very first chapter – so much happening in such a damn nice pace that too in the very first chapter – OUTSTANDING. The way he keeps the story in current, delving into the past with such an ease, the lovely way he develops a character that the readers loyalty goes actually for a toss with every chapter.
What I loved about this particular book and story is its simplicity and of-course the simple way it is written n told. Initially I thought its the love story of Dr and his wife, but as the story moves I came to know that it isnt (the only one) – actually the lover is someone else who’s been in love for more then 50 years and has his own story to tell. you’ve got to read the book to know the story of Florentino Ariza the lover and what all he goes through – its totally amazing, believable and heart warming at the same time. Also, I love the way GGM keeps mentioning his character’s full names at all times – too good – I love it that ways, although they are no ways the easiest of the names but using them in full at all times is too good as it does makes a big difference. What all his characters do for a living, what all secrets they share (themselves) and with each other is another parallel track which keeps going with the superb flow of the narrative keeping the reader glued to it with so much suspense and interest. Also, I must mention and believe that it is indeed GGM’s specialty to not to give away the time-line or the location of the story that easily, you will have to work hard and read closely to know where and when is all that happening and that is true to I guess his other works too. Imagine the time-line of this one as the lead cast of the story do come across two of the greatest personalities of history Victor Hugo and Oscar Wilde in person :).
There are so many characters that I actually fell in love throughout but Florentino Ariza takes the cake – simply superb. Hats off to GGM to carve out such a lovable character and what a finish this one had. I am totally looking forward to the movie on it now, just can’t resist to see those awesome characters come alive on screen. Hope it works for me.
Movie Adaptation: One word – Superb. The choice of cast for those awesome characters is simply superb, of-course barring the guy who plays Fermina’s dad but still he does his job quite well, although doesn’t looks that old to be her father but I loved his attitude. Javier Bardem here is simply amazing and so is the lady playing Fermina Daza – beautiful and sensual, quite an actor. Sunning visuals with awesome background score and those awesome songs. Also the movie almost covers all the important incidents, obviously they cant cover the whole book as it is always the case with adaptations but this one is good, I liked it.