Customer Reviews for

Love in the Time of Cholera

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Nobel Prize for Literature

This is the most gorgeous book I've ever read, not just for the plot, which is interesting, but because it is written with the highest level of storytelling skill. I thoroughly loved it. Readers looking for more than just a good book will be well satisfied. The most dis...
This is the most gorgeous book I've ever read, not just for the plot, which is interesting, but because it is written with the highest level of storytelling skill. I thoroughly loved it. Readers looking for more than just a good book will be well satisfied. The most discriminating critics, wanting to give their time over only to a true work of modern literature, will find it here.

It was originally written in Spanish, and was probably a wonderfully crafted piece of literature in the author's native language. After all, it did win the Nobel Prize. But I believe a tremendous amount of credit for the lushness of this work in this, its English version, belongs to the unsung translator who did an absolutely stunning job. Like most of us, I've read translations of other works that seemed a bit clunky or repetitive. But this one was masterful, every page containing new descriptions that leapt off the page with bright clarity and clever originality.

The Mexican, Caribbean and South American locations described in the book came to life in vivid detail. Yet for all its exotic richness and scope, the story is still very accessible, the emotions universal, relatable. Characters are developed, a wide gamut of tempers and passions flair all over the place, scenes build across the pages with crescendo. It is even funny at times. I doubt the movie came close to this depth of storytelling. If you saw the film and didn't care for it, don't hold it against the book.

posted by L.Emerson on October 31, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Skip This Book

After much fanfare by Oprah Winfrey and several weeks on various bestseller lists, I had high expectations for Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera. However, I found this story to move as slowly as a snail stuck to a glue board. Dense descriptions interf...
After much fanfare by Oprah Winfrey and several weeks on various bestseller lists, I had high expectations for Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera. However, I found this story to move as slowly as a snail stuck to a glue board. Dense descriptions interfered with the plot. García Márquez's fifth novel is set in a 19th-century fictional South American port city. A young telegraph operator, Florentino Ariza, carries on a romance¿through an exchange of love letters only¿with the beautiful but rebellious Fermina Daza. When Fermina¿s father finds out about the relationship, he sends his teen-aged daughter away. Upon her later return, Fermina no longer has feelings for Florentino Ariza and marries the respectable Dr. Juvenal Urbino, a man who the reader is twice told likes to eat asparagus and smell the odor of it in his urine. Despite being spurned by Fermina, Florentino Ariza continues to pine for her for over 50 years, on occasion almost stalking her. He claims to be saving himself for Fermina but has affairs with hundreds of women. During this period, the reader is often treated to Florentino¿s intestinal ailments and his need for enemas. At one time, Florentino considers pursuing his secretary, Leona Cassiani, and she him, but when she is raped on the beach by an unknown assailant who, we are told, provided her with the best sex she ever had, she no longer has any desire to bed Florentino Ariza. Instead, she walks the beach at night hoping her rapist will ravish her again. As a woman, I was insulted by this passage in the novel, a passage only a man could write. And I was shocked that Oprah Winfrey, a woman who has been so open about her own sexual abuse, could recommend a story in which a character felt this way. Quill says: Don¿t bother taking Love in the Time of Cholera to the seashore this summer it¿s one book you can leave on the shelf.

posted by Anonymous on August 6, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Skip This Book

    After much fanfare by Oprah Winfrey and several weeks on various bestseller lists, I had high expectations for Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera. However, I found this story to move as slowly as a snail stuck to a glue board. Dense descriptions interfered with the plot. García Márquez's fifth novel is set in a 19th-century fictional South American port city. A young telegraph operator, Florentino Ariza, carries on a romance¿through an exchange of love letters only¿with the beautiful but rebellious Fermina Daza. When Fermina¿s father finds out about the relationship, he sends his teen-aged daughter away. Upon her later return, Fermina no longer has feelings for Florentino Ariza and marries the respectable Dr. Juvenal Urbino, a man who the reader is twice told likes to eat asparagus and smell the odor of it in his urine. Despite being spurned by Fermina, Florentino Ariza continues to pine for her for over 50 years, on occasion almost stalking her. He claims to be saving himself for Fermina but has affairs with hundreds of women. During this period, the reader is often treated to Florentino¿s intestinal ailments and his need for enemas. At one time, Florentino considers pursuing his secretary, Leona Cassiani, and she him, but when she is raped on the beach by an unknown assailant who, we are told, provided her with the best sex she ever had, she no longer has any desire to bed Florentino Ariza. Instead, she walks the beach at night hoping her rapist will ravish her again. As a woman, I was insulted by this passage in the novel, a passage only a man could write. And I was shocked that Oprah Winfrey, a woman who has been so open about her own sexual abuse, could recommend a story in which a character felt this way. Quill says: Don¿t bother taking Love in the Time of Cholera to the seashore this summer it¿s one book you can leave on the shelf.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hard to follow. Awful.

    Very hard to follow. Confusing.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing

    Never having read anything by this author, I was looking forward to reading this book. I'd read several stories in the past by Jorge Luis Borges and knew that Spanish writers can be challenging but also rewarding. This story I found disappointing. While stylistically rich with details, the plot was tedious and all the charactors difficult and unsympathetic. If his purpose was to show the baseness of the human condition, he succeeded, although this is not what I had in mind when I started reading the story and hoped the story would take me.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2008

    not as good as I though it would be

    I read 100 Years of Solitude, and thought that it was great, one of my favorites actually. This book didn't grab me like that, and I thought it was boring. I would recommend his other books much more.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    What version did they give Oprah to read?

    The few reviews I read about this book, before reading it myself, described it as some kind of enduring story of love. I found Fermina Daza to be correct in describing their love as an illusion when she first rejects Florentino Ariza. This "love," whatever it may have been, was created by each in their own minds. Be that as it may, I still read the whole thing, struggling the entire way though Florentino's infatuation with Fermina and "on-the-side" sexual relationships; as if his love for Fermina Daza is so pure and strong that these are inconsequential and he is remaining true to her.
    It was written well enough, but the plot went from bad to worse. I could have almost bought into some of it at the end, but for the fact that at the age of 70-something Florentino becomes an incestuous pedaphile: taking his 13 year old relative, whom he is guardian of, as a lover. I mean, really Oprah? Marquez' description of the "grooming" could have been part of one of your many shows on identifying molestors. It's not that I expect all characters to be saints, but apparently the reader is supposed to accept all of his actions and still be moved by his enduring love for Fermina Daza. It definately makes me question Marquez' moral standards and his opinion of women.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2008

    I was disappointed...

    This book was recommended to me by a friend. I had high expectations because it was also an Oprah pick and got a lot of great reviews. Unfortunately, the story did not grab me at all. The entire story was just unrealistic and boring. It just was not my type of book I guess.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2008

    Bad book

    I thought that this book was horrible. It starts off in the begging talking about about a guy that plays no part in the book. When Dr. Juvenal Urbino del Calle who is Fermina Daza's husband dies trying to get his parrot out of a tree. The book then proceeds to introduce Florentino Ariza and how he finds about this guy's death and knowing he was Fermina's wife plans to attend his funeral to rekindle his love with Fermina. The book then talks about when Florentino and Fermina first met back when Florentino worked as an apprentice in the Postal Agency where he meets Lotario Thugut, a German immigrant and the Agency's telegraph operator. when a telegraph comes in for Lorenzo Daza and Florentino is sent to deliver it to him. When he arrives at the house he thinks it is deserted but realizes it is undergoing construction and on the way out his eyes lock with Fermina which is what started this whole love story between them. He then learns every thing he can about her and every day waits on a park bench across from there house to see her when she goes to and from school. While the days past he writes a letter about her compliments that eventually reaches seventy pages. However her aunt never leaves her side and wont let him come near her and so he can not give her the letter. At the same time that Fermina decides that she wants him to give him the letter he talks to his mother who persuades him to wait until he can win over her aunt. He eventually gives her the letter and they begin there love life but in the end they go there separate ways and she marries until as I said earlier they meet at her husband¿s funeral. I thought this book was nothing more than nonsense in most places with things that didn¿t even make any sense and I found quite boring. I also found the names confusing and constantly kept mixing characters up with others. I am sure that this book makes a lot more sense when it is in Spanish but when it is written in English it does not make any sense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2008

    Boring

    I felt no emotions reading this book, it was dry. Not a profound love story. I was bored to death, I had to force myself to read it. If you want a truly moving love story read the 'Notebook'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    Excruciating read!

    After all the accolades and recommendations, I was highly disappointed with this story! The characters were flat and lacked sincere emotions. The protagonist, a pathetic and love-sick pedophile, suffered from chronic constipation that was described much too vividly for my taste! I can't imagine that the translation makes that much of a difference. The book was disturbing, at best...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2007

    UGH......

    I just can't seem to enjoy the way that this man writes. Perhaps something is lost in the translation from Spanish to English. This book was painful at times. I suggest you see the movie and save yourself the agony, and that is not a normal recommendation coming from me!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    boring

    with run on sentences and scattered thoughts and ideas, the book failed miserably to communicate. The story is interesting, but the delivery is off. There were sentences that took up a whole page! Come on! It's hard to read through the whole thing without wondering where we are going. It's way too wordy, and one wonders if the author is suffering from ADHD or just simply an early case of dementia. Whatever happened to simple sentences and clear ideas? Is good literature just a matter of convoluted writing so most of us common folks can't appreciate?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2008

    boring

    I really missed the boat on this one. I was really excited to read this and I knew it was one of Oprah's picks. I found it very long and boring, with so many unnecessary details that went on and on. I stopped reading it about 1/2 way through and never went back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2007

    Lost in Translation

    Maybe this book would be better in Spanish, because the English translation seemed off. Too long, and too wordy. It was a chore to finish this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2007

    Obsession not Love

    Contary to the majority of reviewers, the members of my Book Club, found this book to very disappointing. We thought the writing style was wordy and verbose. Neither of the main characters, Fermina nor Florentino were very likeable people. She showed little feelings for anyone other than herself and he was a anti-social loner who bedded hundreds of women throughout his lifetime without having a real relationship with any of them. Seducing his young cousin because she reminded him of Fermina and then ignoring her and causing her suicide was hardly the characteristics of a likeable hero. After more than 200 pages of 'unrequited' love, we really didn't care if the old lovers were finally reuinted or not.

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    Posted December 2, 2009

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    Posted March 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted August 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted October 25, 2009

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    Posted August 24, 2010

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    Posted June 20, 2009

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