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 January 13, 2014

    I can honestly say that after reading this book, I did not belie

    I can honestly say that after reading this book, I did not believe that the relationship between Fermina and Florentino was anywhere close to love. If anything, a lot of the relationships discussed (in detail) in the novel was based completely off of lust. As well, the novel did remain on topic with the entire love at first sight idea, the ideal woman being courted by another (wealthier and handsome) man because of her father’s horrific personality, and the man remaining devastated by his loss of his love. However, the story seemed to be all over the place (to start) but the events where definitely interesting and I would not have expected certain things to occur (ex. Florentino relationship with a minor, Dr. Urbino cheating on Fermina, and Fermina not having the balls to leave the jerk after he cheated because of the stereotypes of women in those days). The characters were not developed fully but enough to have an idea of what their personalities were like. I did enjoy that the novel began in the future, then described the entire past story of Florentino, his lovers, Fermina, Dr. Juvenal Urbino, and some other wayside characters and ended with (of course) happily ever after of the two main characters. The story was interesting but at times, it felt like it dragged along (which may have been an attempt to describe all the details, emotions, and conversations that the people were having). As a close reader, I sometimes had to re-read paragraphs in order to keep track with the entire who, what, where, when, and why as well as the importance of certain events and how it affected the characters personally. Also, much of the book revolved around Florentino and his lovers, his stalker crazy obsession with Fermina (attending all of her events, knowing everything in her life) and not being able to get over her no matter how much sex he has. While Fermina’s life revolves around her husband and her sucky disappointing marriage but her dealing with everything. I don’t think this book is absolutely excellent and a MUST ABSOLUTELY READ, but I do think it takes a certain type of reader to appreciate that the book is not entirely predictable and the author did create a unique storyline (which is not seen in many other novels). I appreciate that this was not like every other book and that it presented a new idea of “love” or maybe, lust with companionship desired.  

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    New Twist on Romance

    This novel, while graphic and extremely descriptive, accurately wove a story with a stark sense of realism. While the plot was tedious and meandered along before briefly hitting a climatic point, this story of sexuality, lust, love, tenderness, and perseverance was splendidly rich in culture and was worth the read.

    While I expected this book to be sweet and heartwarming, however, I finished the novel with a hollow feeling. The type of love described in Marquez's work was abrupt, forceful, sweaty, painful, obsessive, and heartbreaking. For readers looking for a gratifying story of romance, this novel was only arduous and frustratingly blunt. But, while it was difficult for me to understand main character Florentino's promiscuous lifestyle and undying love for Fermina, I was very capable of relating to the humanistic qualities and real-life elements of the plot.

    An unconventional and certainly perplexing love story, Marquez's novel is torturous, but intriguing at the same time. It was hard to struggle through this book written about a love that is much more vicious, messy and exasperating than beautiful. But while I would not recommend this book for a relaxing pool-side read, I think that undertaking the challenge that is the prize-winning novel is beneficial and rewarding and unforgettable.

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I wish I could read Spanish.

    I just picked this book up off of my mother's shelf and started reading. I found the story compelling but the writing tedious. After reading that this book was originally written in Spanish, I suspect that the translation leaves something to be desired.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    love in the time of cholera

    Love in the time of cholera, a fiction book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was an O.K. book in my personal opion. It Would be an outstanding book to anyone who likes love stories. I liked this book for multiple reasons, sutch as it was based on a cute love story of a boy and a girl from when there little children to elderly grandparents, which i like, and there was some drama but it wasnt overwhelming to make you want to put the book down and stop reading it. It also had some cliff hangers which make me want to keep reading a/this book. But i didnt like this book because there were many parts that i thought were there to just take up space. This book is mainly about this boy Florentino who falls deeply in love with this girl Fermina, and fermina's parents forbid her to see Florintino. So she ends up marrying a doctor, meanwhile Florintino saves his virginity and awaights his death so he can propose to her. And during that time he solves his fustration with many affiares with multiple women. and at last the Dr. dies and florintion proposes to Her.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2008

    Cholera jumps to much

    Although the story is very detailed it is easy to get lost in which time the writer is in. I found this a very hard read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    Not My Type of Story

    It wasn't my type of book. I am not a type of person who enjoys life long journeys. But if you are into stories like that I would suggest it to you. (I personally found the book to be slow moving and too much detail was given.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2007

    Idea is great but overall disappointed

    Sorry!I may just be one of the few ones who did not enjoy this book. Yes, the plot is great and unimaginable but the story dragged on for a really, really long time.It was boring and not a page turner.I had to force myself to keep reading hoping it would get better.To my dismay it was nothing to get excited about. Ending is okay but wished there was more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2007

    Sensibly Sassy's Review for LITOC

    The novel chronicles a love triangle between Fermina Daza, Florentino Ariza and Juvenal Urbino which begins in their childhood and ends in old age (from the years 1880-1930). The setting of the novel is never specified, which is something that became increasingly frustrating to me. When I read a book I like to have a clear picture in my head of where the story is developing. This novel left me wondering if I had missed something but according to a fairly thorough search of the Internet, I had not. Apparently, the novel takes place in Cartagena, Colombia the average reader would not be able to gather this unless you are familiar with the extensive history of the author. I'll be honest I was not very satisfied with this book. I gave it a fair chance and unfortunately it did not give me much back. When I eat good fruit I like it to drip down my forearms as soon as I wipe it away. I like my books to be similar, I want the story to be rich and insightful with so many nuances that I have to whip out my pencil and underline passages I like (yes, I really do that). This book had a very interesting premise but very little to back it up. In my opinion, a love triangle that lasts five decades should be chock full of 'juice', if you will. However, the story was straight forward and didn't go out of it's way to keep the reader hooked. The characters felt a little two dimensional and flat. The story switches from all three character's perspective (which is usually something I enjoy). But I don't think enough character development was done before switching to the next character's point of view I never had the chance to become invested or attached to any of the three characters. But in all fairness the book was not so horrible I could not finish it. If a good book is a ripe watermelon this book was a walnut hard to crack into, has some substance to it, but not thirst quenching. (Okay, okay, I might be taking this analogy too far, my apologies) It pains me to say it, but I do not suggest this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    over rated

    Ok, the majority of readers loved this book. I found it to be hard to 'fall into' the story and feel like an observer. I could not get past the feeling that Fermina was extremly shallow and selfish. Florentino was spending his life with empty relationships because he 'Loved' her so much?? Sorry but I didn't get that much from the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2007

    A reviewer

    I just finished reading this book yesterday, and its one of those novels that I would probably never wanna read again. This book is actually being filmed into a movie, I sure hope they do a better job at keeping my attention. Some parts of the book were interesting...and other parts were really not necessary. It was ok...but not Great. )

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