Thursday, 28 April 2011

Memories of My Melancholy Whores - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Synopsis -This enticingly sensual yet at the same time innocent adventure tells of an unnamed second-rate reporter who on the eve of his ninetieth birthday decides to give himself 'a night of mad love with a virgin adolescent'.  When he first sees the chosen girl - a shy fourteen year old, whom he calls Delgadina - asleep, entirely naked, in the brothel room, his life begins to change completely.  He never speaks to her not does he learn anything about her, nor she of him.  But her presence spurs the aged pensioner to recall his experiences with the other women in his life, all whores by profession, all paid tomperform for him the acts of love.  But now he realises that 'sex is the consolation one has for not finding enough love'.  Smitten, he screams of his love from the rooftops, which for him means writing about it in his weekly newspaper columns, and in return, he becomes the most famous man in town.

Review - This book was written in 2005 and Marquez was born in 1927, so the author was 78 years old at the time of publication.  One can ask if this is a book about an old man's dream.  Marquez is another author who doesn't appeal to all.  I have read one of his other books 'One Hundred years of Solitude' which I enjoyed.  The one theme that does seem to run between these two stories is love and sex in a debauched way.  I like the South American writers, the way they write with ease about love, sex and lust which is central to many of their books.  This book does not focus on folklore and spiritual beliefs which is also a common theme in Latin writing. 

Marquez' character is a selfish man, look at the odd relationship with his housekeeper.  He does not want commitment with any woman, just a desire to fulfill his sexual needs.  The story is well written and an easy read, but it may not appeal to everyone.  3*

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