In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well born doctor, Florentino is heartbroken, but he is a romantic As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years inaffairs yet he reserves his heart for Fermina Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again I learned that I will never be a great writer, because sometimes, there are people like Marquez, who manage to write such an amazing piece of art without making it ponderous, pretentious, or difficult It s not really about the plot, is it A guy is in love with a girl, and waits for her for 50 odd years, while conducting his own affairs Here s the thing, though The way the story is told is segue free, almost conversational, but with such sumptuous detail and description, that it can only be e I learned that I will never be a great writer, because sometimes, there are people like Marquez, who manage to write such an amazing piece of art without making it ponderous, pretentious, or difficult It s not really about the plot, is it A guy is in love with a girl, and waits for her for 50 odd years, while conducting his own affairs Here s the thing, though The way the story is told is segue free, almost conversational, but with such sumptuous detail and description, that it can only be explained as an absolute justification specifically for the written word No other format for this story would be good enough It made me crave to read it in the original Spanish, though There were paragraphs that I knew did not carry the same weight in English and this translation is really beautiful that it would have in Spanish Amazing book Really Please read it LET ME EXPLAIN, GUYS.Okay I like Marquez I think his writing is beautiful, his settings are evocative and masterfully portrayed, and yes, his books are pretty romantic, and I always enjoy magical realism this one could have usedof that last bit, though The last twenty pages of the book even manged to suck me into the romance of the story, and I found myself finally really invested in this love story instead of being vaguely creeped out we ll get there Look, I even found a really ni LET ME EXPLAIN, GUYS.Okay I like Marquez I think his writing is beautiful, his settings are evocative and masterfully portrayed, and yes, his books are pretty romantic, and I always enjoy magical realism this one could have usedof that last bit, though The last twenty pages of the book even manged to suck me into the romance of the story, and I found myself finally really invested in this love story instead of being vaguely creeped out we ll get there Look, I even found a really nice passage to quote It was as if they had leapt over the arduous calvary of conjugal life and gone straight to the heart of love They were together in silence like an old married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion beyond love For they had lived together long enough to know that love was always love, anytime and anyplace, but it wassolid the closer it came to death See That s fucking beautiful, and even if I didn t like the story itself, I still liked the writing So call off the dogs, Marquez apologists, and let s get to the ranting portion of the review Fair warning to all who proceed past this point I am preparing to don my Feminist Rage hat and shout about rape culture Those who plan to leave mean comments calling me an idiot or telling me that I misunderstood the book, remember that you were warned BEWARE, FOR HERE BE DRAGONS AND ANGRY FEMINISTS Here s something I learned about myself while reading this I have absolutely no patience for books about obsession disguised as love I hated it in Twilight, I hated it in Wuthering Heights, I hated it in The Phantom of the Opera, and I hated it here It would be one thing, I decided, if Fermina Daza felt as passionately about Florentino Ariza as he felt about her But she didn t love him For her, their romance was a brief fling in her teens, and she stopped loving him when she returned from her trip She continued not loving him, until he wears her down after writing her letters constantly despite her explicitly telling him to fuck off out of her life and she basically shrugs her shoulders and says, fine, might as well The lesson men can take from this book is that if a woman says no as Fermina frequently and clearly says to Florentino , she really means, make me change my mind NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE THIS PHILOSOPHY IS NOT OKAY AND IT IS WHY RAPE CULTURE EXISTS NO MEANS FUCKING NO, EVERYBODY IF A WOMAN TELLS YOU TO LEAVE HER ALONE, YOU LEAVE HER THE FUCK ALONE IT IS NOT ROMANTIC TO OBSESS ABOUT HER FOR FIFTY YEARS, IT IS CREEPY.And OF COURSE Florentino still fucks anything that moves while claiming to be in love with Fermina, because he is a man and that s just how it works Which leads me to my next ranting point this book romanticizes rape you can still get out, guys it s only going to get worse from here First there was the intensely unsettling way Florentino loses his virginity while traveling on a ship, a woman drags him into her cabin and forces him to have sex with her Then Florentino falls in love with her Because of course he does I was willing to chalk this scene up to the common misconception that men cannot be sexually assaulted because men are horny dogs who are always up for sex no matter what fine, whatever, I ll let it go But then later, a minor female character describes the time she got raped, and I m going to let you guys read this while I do yoga breaths in the corner and count to ten slowly When she was still very young, a strong, able man whose face she never saw took her by surprise, threw her down on the jetty, ripped her clothes off, and made instantaneous and frenetic love to her Lying there on the rocks, her body covered with cuts and bruises, she had wanted that man to stay forever so she could die of love in his arms Oncewith feeling NOPE.AND THEN, as the creepy pedophilic cherry on top of this rape sundae, Florentino s last affair is with a child When he is in his sixties The best part is that he doesn t even use the classic pedophile s defense of yes, she s young, but she ACTS like a grown woman No, Florentino sees that this child is going to be smoking hot when she grows up, and decides that he can t wait that long Then this passage happens She was still a child in every sense of the word, with braces on her teeth and the scrapes of elementary school on her knees, but he saw right away the kind of woman she was soon going to be, and he cultivated her during a slow year of Saturdays at the circus, Sundays in the park with ice cream, childish late afternoons, and he won her confidence, he won her affection, he led her by the hand, with the gentle astuteness of a kind grandfather, toward his secret slaughterhouse The hero of Love in the Time of Cholera, ladies and gentlemen Let s give him a round of applause.If anyone wants to join me in the corner, I will be staying here for the rest of the week 5 masculine, organic, decaying stars 8th Favorite Read of 2016 Do not make the mistake that this book is about love This book is about muchcommon vices Vices that masquerade for love.Jealousy, obsession, desire, pity and vengeance.Perpetually selfish penises promising but only perjuring voluminous misunderstood vaginas.Men using women that use men.The demise of the body, civilization, disease, poverty, stolen riches, subservience, slavery.Sexual abuse in the guise of parental g 5 masculine, organic, decaying stars 8th Favorite Read of 2016 Do not make the mistake that this book is about love This book is about muchcommon vices Vices that masquerade for love.Jealousy, obsession, desire, pity and vengeance.Perpetually selfish penises promising but only perjuring voluminous misunderstood vaginas.Men using women that use men.The demise of the body, civilization, disease, poverty, stolen riches, subservience, slavery.Sexual abuse in the guise of parental guidance Smothering overindulgent mothers psychologically killing sons and maiming daughters.Beauty and comfort for the very few Shades of skin as important as class and wealth.Narcissism, poetry and empty years of mindless despair.Rot, sickeningly sweet perfumes, theft and unknown history.Oh no, do not misunderstand this book is not about love Anything but I previously read One Hundred Years of Solitude and I liked it a lot, and I was intruiged by the title Love in the Time of Cholera so I thought I d read it.Within the first few pages I had the inkling I didn t like it, but sometimes it takes books a little while to get warmed up Plus, I don t like starting a book and not finishing it, because I know I ll never go back to a book I stopped reading because I didn t like it, and if I stop reading it, I ll never know if I would have liked the re I previously read One Hundred Years of Solitude and I liked it a lot, and I was intruiged by the title Love in the Time of Cholera so I thought I d read it.Within the first few pages I had the inkling I didn t like it, but sometimes it takes books a little while to get warmed up Plus, I don t like starting a book and not finishing it, because I know I ll never go back to a book I stopped reading because I didn t like it, and if I stop reading it, I ll never know if I would have liked the rest of it So I forged ahead and completed the whole book.First off, the magical realism that made 100 yrs of Solitude so gripping was not as prevalent in Cholera I actually only saw it a few times in the entire novel, unless it was so well done that it was just perfectly woven into the book and I didn t notice I doubt that thoughbut this was easy to get over I mean, it s a different book, so it was bound to be, well, different from 100Solitude But I guess my conservative religious side was riled up by the rest of the book It portrays everyone as being incredibly sex oriented Men, women, everyone And not morally so, if you know what I mean Everyone sleeps around, while married and while unmarried And the tone of the book seemed to be saying that that s expected quite frankly, like thesex a person has, most of the time with thepeople, thenormal and in some ways thegifted they are I m generalizing quite a bit, not getting into the specifics of the story and my reactions to them, however.Now this book is on Oprah s book club list and she said it s the greatest love story she s ever heard Alrightif a good love story equals someone waiting for their true love, where waiting means having sex with everything that moves And now they re making a movie The tag says Florentino, rejected by the beautiful Fermina at a young age, devotes much of his adult life to carnal affairs as a desperate attempt to heal his broken heart I guess I can see how you can read the book that way I guess I just don t prefer books where carnal affairs are the center And I didn t read it that way It didn t seem to me that the carnal affairs were a desperate attempt to heal his broken heart They seemed like he just wanted to have sex in the meantime SOMEWHAT SPOILER ALERT BUT NOT REALLY you cannot declare yourself a virgin just b c you didn t love the hundreds of people you had sex with before your one true love What bothered me I think was that in the end, I couldn t tell if the novel was condoning a life of promiscuity as long as it leads to one true love, or if it was condemning its character s behavior in some ways I tend to lean towards thinking it wasn t really condemning it though I probably missed something, I m sure Because not being sure what a book was saying is not usually the book s fault.In some ways it should have been titled Sex in the Time of Cholera, because the term love was used instead of sex almost constantly, and obviously, those are two very different things