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The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann, Leonard Peikoff
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
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Virginia Woolf
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Edward Gibbon, Daniel J. Boorstin, Gian Battista Piranesi, Hans-Friedrich Mueller
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Cien anos de soledad. Edicion conmemorativa

Cien años de soledad - Gabriel García Márquez I just didn't get this book. Some of that, I'm sure, comes from the fact that I read it in Spanish, and while I like to tell myself that I speak excellent Spanish, reality would probably wound my ego, so I'm going to ignore that and focus on the book itself.The plot--it moves so fast you feel like you're a dog with your head out the window of a car on a Utah freeway, the only ones where you can go 80 legally. You're driving through the state and trying to take in everything you see but it's just moving by so fast and your tongue, which you normally never have any problem keeping nice and wet, is somehow drying out in the wind and your eyes are flipping back and forth, grasping things that shine or glitter but not fast enough, you can just never quite get a good look at anything. What I mean by that, in case the metaphor missed, is that Every Sentence moves the plot forward and it is utterly exhausting.The characters are flat and weird. They never change, are never motivated by anything other than their widely varying versions of human nature which they are born and die with and never evolve. A lot of the time it is hard to discern the magic from the realism. Neither are very convincing, making the magic less magical and the realism less real. I've read that the 100 Years was influenced by Faulkner and I believe that, but wow, the worst parts of Faulkner. It feels like it's all the confusion and it tries to capture all the types and symbolism but it lacks the beauty and the depth. Just when you are getting used to a character or, for that matter, a generation of characters, suddenly so much time has gone by that you're now dealing with a whole new group of people, a new war, new relationships and the only things that give the book any continuity at all are Macondo and Ursula and the family names which repeat and add to the confusion.If you want magical realism, and I know this is blasphemous, especially for someone who minored in Spanish, I'd say read Salman Rushdie or, if you really want Spanish, Borges or Carlos Fuentes. They represent the genre better. Maybe my opinion will change after I revisit Cien Años in English sometime in the future, but for now I really don't have much of a desire to do that at least not for the next 100 years or so. Oh yes I did.