Friday, 18 April 2014
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This line works because of the firing squad. This is conflict. There is no indication that this man will die by firing squad, but it is a predicament that the reader becomes curious as it raises questions, like why is this character in front of a firing squad in the first place. What makes this line more than simple conflict is the memory the man has facing death. It is an odd recollection and raises even more questions.
The whole first page is one long run-on paragraph that could easily be broken up, but one wonders if this was not part of the plan. In any case, it turns the modern reader off. However, the opening line is enough to hook readers and make them wonder about ice and firing squads.
First thing said:
"Things have a life of their own."
While perhaps not moving plot forward, this opening bit of dialogue does have substance.
This is part of the series: the top 100 novels from Daniel S. Burt's book called Novel 100, the top 100 novels of all time. There is debate of course as to what should be on that list, but his opinions are as good as any. One Hundred Years of Solitude comes in as the 19th greatest novel of all time. I was planning to start at 100 and work my way down, and have several reviews already completed, beginning with Gone with the Wind at 100, but with Gabriel Garcia Marquez's tragic death, he's been fast-tracked.
RIP. The world has lost a great writer. If one looks at the writers left, topping the New York Times best seller list, the tragedy of this man's death becomes all the more acute.