[Book Review] Memories of My Melancholy Whores – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“I have never gone to bed with a woman I didn’t pay…”

I was always one of the people that knew who Gabriel Garcia Marquez was, what he wrote, what he did, but never read anything from him. So, one day, while going through my favourite bookshop, I came across this little piece.

What’s the story about?

We are introduced from the beginning into the life of a nonagenarian journalist who seeks something he has always lacked: love. Well, that might be technically wrong, as he is not seeking it actively, though I have to put my foot down, grab my invisible neon green marker and underline all the instances in which we can clearly see that he is seeking love, but it is not aware of it. But I digress. We are introduced into the idea that our journalist is just seeking sex, so we are given a glimpse into his life and his quest for self discovery through the discovery of love.

Pinpoints

this section contains spoilers

Fear – The idea of fear is explored in this book through various perspectives, but from the point of view of one person. This is what I loved the most about this book, that key traits are being revealed to me by the narrator, without him actively trying to underline and highlight them. Then we have traits that are actively communicated to us by the narrator, which are not always the ones that catch the eye of the reader. And the last traits are the ones that are build by bouncing back from what the narrator projects on that person. Fear is present everywhere in this book. Our journalist fears dying alone, a fear that is introduced to us from the first pages. Then, through is actions, we are revealed that our journalist fears a bad reputation, he fears love and, most important, he fears loss. He treats Delgadina (as he calls the unnamed 14yo girl) as treasure that must not be broken by any physical acts, even though the need for these physical acts are the reason they were brought together.

Loneliness – One major character that stays put during the entire duration of the book is loneliness. Even though it isn’t really a character, loneliness is referenced and it is present almost throughout the pages.  And just like fear, it is not directly addressed ever, but it just interjects before, during or even after certain interactions. If for some characters, loneliness does create the normal (using this term loosely) reaction (the journalist), some characters make loneliness work for them. They strive and get to overcome their inner saboteur, fighting fear and loneliness (Rosa).

In the end…

… I was afraid to admit as first that this was not one of my favourite reads this year. Since Marquez is such a big name in literature, it was hard to admit that, but then I came to the conclusion that you should not feel a certain way because you liked or disliked a book, regardless of the author or the book.

Buy the book: Book Depository

Photos by Rafael Fabricio, Lily Lvnatikk, Felipe P. Lima Rizo

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