June 28, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: MEMORIES OF MY MELANCHOLY WHORES by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

MEMORIES is Gabriel Garcia Marquez' latest work after a 10-year hiatus. The writing is lyrical and fast-paced, but this book wins no prizes from me. Thankfully, it's a short read -- only 115 pages so one can read it in two days tops.


This book could have been entitled, “What I did the Year I Turned 100.” Written like a long essay, it’s the story of an old man on the brink of senility, who buys himself a young 14-year old virgin to celebrate his centennial. Their night of passion is unconsummated but it transforms our respectable hero into an irrational and obsessive lover. He continues to visit his Sleeping Beauty, who sleeps through ALL their encounters (if you can believe it!). He decorates their love shack with books and antiques, and even gives her a name, Delgadina. A dead body brings chaos and separation. And when our hero finds his Sleeping Beauty again, he trades all he has to be with her, because he finally realizes that he is old and doesn’t want to die alone and unloved, even if the love is one-sided.