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Memories of My Melancholy Whores

Review

Memories of My Melancholy Whores



Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes beautifully. Many paragraphs
throughout his works can be easily mistaken for poetry, as they
contain language so vivid and colorful that it inspires even the
most disinterested reader. MEMORIES OF MY MELANCHOLY WHORES is
Marquez's first piece of fiction in ten years, yet it maintains the
writing acumen that he's famous for and that permeates his other
works. It is also markedly shorter than many of his other novels;
the 113 poignant pages of this novella take the form of a memoir.
The writing is both profound and superb, and the story is eerily
familiar.

This novella is the story of a fastidiously dressed man. He is
scholarly yet insecure, debonair though not rich. The Scholar, as
everyone calls him --- both because of his age and because of his
wisdom (which is distributed through his Sunday column in a
newspaper) --- awakens on the morning of his 90th birthday in the
beautiful house that his parents bequeathed to him and begins to
recount the story of his life, which has been filled with women for
hire but has remained largely devoid of love.

In a manner similar to Leo Tolstoy's THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH, the
Scholar realizes much about life as he approaches the end of his
own; unlike Ivan Ilyich, however, the Scholar is not bedridden and
feels a yearning for rekindling something of his past. His only
true friend in the novella --- a weathered woman, only a few years
younger than the Scholar and the owner and overseer of an aged
brothel --- reminds him of his wonderful past and aids him in what
he thinks will be one of his final hoorahs.

Fortunately for readers, the Scholar's life takes an unexpected
turn, and to his disbelief, he falls in love with an unlikely girl.
His Sunday column becomes a personal diary of love that touches the
heart and captures the imagination of his readers.

Abruptly, calamity strikes and shatters what the reader hopes will
be a happy ending to a checkered life. However, the Scholar must
rebound and take up the search for his found, and lost, love.

   

MEMORIES OF MY MELANCHOLY WHORES is not a story about death;
rather, it is a vibrant story of life renewing itself and the odd
places where people find their passion. The setting of a lovely
Spanish town and characters deserving of our empathy make this
novella a memorable, beautiful and inspiring one.

Reviewed by Scott Handwerker on January 7, 2011

Memories of My Melancholy Whores
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  • Publication Date: November 14, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN-10: 1400095948
  • ISBN-13: 9781400095940