Monday, June 23, 2008

In the Nick of Time

My book club is meeting tonight to have dinner and discuss Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I just finished the book last night. This is the closest I've ever come to not finishing a book for book club that I meant to finish, as opposed to one I gave up on. Wicked, for example.

I had a difficult time with this novel, and I think it was in the timing. I don't think this was a good book to have to read on a schedule. I didn't find the book especially gripping so it was a challenge to get much read at night when I was tired. When I began it, I was slowing absorbing and meandering through it, but I realized about a week ago that I really need to get a move on. There were parts of the novel that I actively enjoyed - the beginning up until Fermina marries the doctor, and again towards the end. I had trouble with the middle section that is primarily about Florentino and his life. I know I mention this often, but it was obvious that this novel was written by a man. I found much of Florentino's behavior unbelievable, at times bordering on stalker-like, at other times completely unacceptable. I did find the ending quite sweet, so I was satisfied at the end.

As always, I'll be interested to see what everyone else thinks. And if they finished it! Knowing my book club, I'll be surprised if anyone says they 'loved' this.

I'd be curious to know your opinion of this book or others by GGM. Any recommendations? Also, has anyone seen the film based on this novel? The reviews were not great, if I recall, and I avoided it since I knew I'd be reading it this summer.

In other news.....

Still working on the computer here and not sure what photo software the husband wants to use. The printer is now working - Yeah! But Ravi from India was not able to get the speakers to work and wanted to sell us a new set. Everything he tried my husband had already done. He's handy that way. This machine sure is fast though! The old computer used to take 10 minutes to boot up - I'm not kidding - and this one about 1 minute. It's amazing.

13 comments:

Chris said...

I felt the same about Love in the Time of Cholera. When I blogged about it, I was very weary because so many people raved about it. I felt it was 'meh'.

raych said...

I've read 2 GGM's now, Cholera and 100 Years of Solitude, and both times I didn't actually enjoy the READING, but I enjoyed the having read, if that makes sense. I liked looking back on the story as a whole, but I felt kind of exhausted.

Bybee said...

My book group read this as well, and I didn't finish...it just wasn't going well...but I want to get back to it...it's on my Orbis Terrarum list.

Eva said...

I really enjoyed reading this one, and I've also read 100 Years (which is more magical realism style, and which I enjoyed equally, but in a different way), and his non-fic News of a Kidnapping (which I highly recommend! I reviewed it and Love... on my blog). Next up I'm trying his novellas: maybe the timing will work better for you in a short form?

Tara said...

Chris, yes, it's not easy to feel that way when everyone else seems to love something, is it?? That's how I feel. We had a split decisison last night at the mtg.

Raych, yes, that makes complete sense and I couldn't agree more.

Bybee, good luck! I know if I had put this aside, I probably wouldn't have gone back to it. I just had to plow on.

Eva, Hmmm. I don't know if magical realism is for me. Though I have a copy of that. I think I might do better with his nf or novellas, which in fact I mentioned last night! I'll look forward to hearing what you think about those.

LisaMM said...

I haven't read anything by GGM but I just wanted to say hi and congrats on the new computer! I got mine in January and it was like a miracle being able to boot up in approx one minute! My old one was soooo slow.

Gentle Reader said...

I really enjoyed this book when I read it years back, but also liked the beginning and ending best. I'll be interested to hear what your book group thinks!

Danielle said...

I read this book years ago and really loved it. But I know what you mean by wanting to take your time with something and having a deadline imposed--it starts to feel like work and the enjoyment disappears. I have heard mixed reactions to the film, so I'm not sure I'll watch it, but I wouldn't mind rereading the book.

Tara said...

LisaMM, Hi, and thanks! It is a wonderful improvement.

Gentle Reader, Thanks for letting me know what you thought. My book club was thus divided - one member didn't even open it -she's pregant with twins so she was quickly forgiven, 2 women liked it, 2 didn't like and I expressed my opinion. A mixed bag.

Danielle, that is pretty much what happened, I think. I'm not sure about the film. Maybe someday, but I rarely sit down and watch anything for 2 hours these days.

BooksPlease said...

This is very interesting. I have the book and have started to read it - then got sidetracked onto other books - it did seem a bit slow to start. I'll be giving it another go some time.

melanie said...

ugh. one of my least favorites. but i was able to admire the writing. we did it for bookclub too and like you i think the word stalker sums it up. some of the more, um, romantically inclined readers thought it was touching. i found him odd. moving on....

Iliana said...

I love this book! But, I know it's not everyone's favorite. If you want to try another of his books I highly recommend Strange Pilgrims - it's a collection of short stories and it's fabulous. This coming from someone who doesn't read many short stories :)

Tara said...

Booksplease, I think I could also have easily gotten sidetracked if I hadn't needed to finish it for book club. I probably would have put it down somewhere in the middle.

Melanie, I really did appreciate the writing. Someone thought maybe something might have been lost in the translation, but I didn't really feel that was the case.

Iliana, Thanks for the suggestion. I think I would do better with something shorter of his so this would be more appealing.