Aug 24, 2010

Review | Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

On the eve of his ninetieth birthday a bachelor decides to give himself a wild night of love with a virgin. As is his habit–he has purchased hundreds of women–he asks a madam for her assistance. The fourteen-year-old girl who is procured for him is enchanting, but exhausted as she is from caring for siblings and her job sewing buttons, she can do little but sleep. Yet with this sleeping beauty at his side, it is he who awakens to a romance he has never known.

Tender, knowing, and slyly comic, Memories of My Melancholy Whores is an exquisite addition to the master’s work.

Cover: I don't like the cover, although I guess it's because it seems a little outdated, but then again, the book is a little older.

Thoughts: This is one of those books I picked up at the library because the author has so much praise and everyone always says that his books are really amazing and must reads. And yes, I think they are great and this is the second one of his books that I've read of his and they are really great. But I always find older books like this one a bit hard to really get into and sometimes the writing is just a bit too much to understand.

I must admit though, as soon as I read the first few pages, I really didn't want to put it down. There might be many out there who would have really put it down after the first sentence..."The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin." Yes, I thought, that is just wrong in so many ways. But the story develops in something that is so much more than that.

Our nameless protagonist is a sad character to read about, and his life has not been the greatest, but living to be ninety and still being able to tell about it, well that's got to mean something. He is just such a different character to anything I have ever read and the author's writing is really beautiful, almost poetic, and I was just enchanted by the story.

I really only recommend this book to fans of the author, because I don't think you would enjoy it otherwise.

Favorite Quotes: "My only explanation is that just as real events are forgotten, some that never were can be in our memories as if they had happened"

This book was provided by my local library.


  1. I love his work. But you're right, it's an acquired taste. Have you ever tried Chronicle of a Death Foretold. It's a quick great read.

  2. This one is actually on my to-read list. Fantastic review!