Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nobel Prize Schnobel Prize


I am disappointed.

I just finished Love in the Time of Cholera, motivated predominantly by a) my current, somewhat disturbing, fascination with Cholera; b) its author having won the Nobel Prize for literature; and c) my having purchased it for $2.50 from the Salvation Army.

Redeeming Features:
  • While I cannot read the text in Spanish, its translation is undeniably poetic and powerful. Personification, in particular, is commandeered and directed with a force I have never encountered before.
  • There are some truly poignant moments. One protagonist is afflicted with love like a literal disease, and his ways of coping with this are startling and unnerving.
  • The characters are well-painted.
But oh how it disappointed:
  • One would hope a drawn-out narrative would evoke longing within its reader, rather than the desire to quit.
  • I usually don't mind despising characters. I can resent their choices so long as I feel I understand them, and care about their future. I despised Fermina and Florentino so much that I began to wish they would die. This cannot be a good sign, no?
  • Romance and promiscuity have never a happy marriage made for me. About midway through the novel I encountered too many needless, nasty scenes. I get it - this is to reveal how empty the character truly is, and how solace cannot be found...blah blah blah. Some reference to the character being a skank would have been sufficient, I don't need a play by play of every love affair. In fact, it soils your book. In fact, I will not keep the book because of said scenes.
What I'll take from having read this book:
  • Hopefully a $2.50 profit upon its sale (consider the target set). Check out my auction, you know you want to own it (link to come).
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