Book Review: Love in the Time of Cholera

Excellent news: after months1 of trying, I have finally, finally finished Love in the Time of Cholera! I saw it on the Strand 80 table shortly after catching Serendipity2 on television, and, so inspired, I picked it up. After a few fitful starts, I managed to read about forty pages before I gave up. The book failed to grab my attention – and I couldn’t figure out why the story seemed to be focusing on one particular old doctor when the back of the book promised an epic tale of love between Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza.

I continued to ignore it, picking it up occasionally to see if the story had somehow changed. It, of course, had not. I finally committed to slugging through it this month, and my status updates on Goodreads demonstrated my feels by page 44:

May 14: I am NEVER going to finish this book. I keep putting it down and reading other things instead.

But this time I didn’t give up, and, after another hundred pages or so, I found myself liking the book.

May 26: Things are looking up! I’m actually enjoying the book now. Hooray!

At some point, I began finding the book hard to put down. I would fall asleep with the book on my pillow at night because I was too reluctant to close it for the night even though I was sleepy.

June 4: I finally finished this book! Yay! It was slow going at first – so much so that I put it down several times, for weeks at a time – but eventually the tempo picked up and I found it impossible to put down. The writing is absolutely beautiful.

I immediately put One Hundred Years of Solitude on my “to read” list. I ran across a couple of racks of used books in Williamsburg yesterday and poked through them, looking for it. I managed to find five copies of Love in the Time of Cholera and one of the first volume of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s autobiography, but none of One Hundred Years of Solitude. Incidentally, there were also no less than eight copies of Anna Karenina, which is another title that I can never convince myself to read, despite the fact I’ve been carting around the sizable tome for almost six years now. Maybe it’s a sign …


1 I do, quite literally, mean months. This book has been kicking around my apartment since October.
2 In that movie, Kate Beckinsale’s character writes her name and phone number in a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera and sells it to a used bookstore. John Cusack’s character then spends the next couple of years picking up that title in used bookstores, looking for the one with her name in it. It’s kind of a cheesy and sappy movie, but it’s also kind of adorable – and it has John Cusack.

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2 responses to “Book Review: Love in the Time of Cholera

  1. I have One Hundred Years of Solitude–you can borrow if you want, it’s one of my favorites!

  2. Excellent! Thanks, friend!

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