Because I’m attempting to write ‘Love in the Time of Flu’, I thought I’d better see how the Master does it. And he is a master of storytelling. This is a book to wave in the face of those who parrot, ‘Show, don’t tell’ when they critique your work. Marquez is an effective teller. He certainly kept me going for 346 big pages.
Having said which, I could have happily put the book down and not read another word at any stage. I wasn’t that interested in how it would turn out and I had no sympathy with any character. I do sympathise with that because it’s hard to write people in that fine line between sugar and acid. I tend too far toward acid myself.
My biggest gripe with the book – and here be plot spoiler so look away now – relates to my lack of sympathy for Florentino Ariza, the unrequited lover. In my world such a character loses most of his credibility the first time he shags another woman. When he becomes a serial offender, in fact an obsessive, I’ve lost the point of the story altogether.
Oh well, sit back and enjoy the prose.