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Search tags: love-in-the-time-of-cholera
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text SPOILER ALERT! 2016-02-22 00:49
Book to Movie: Love in the Time of Cholera
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez,Edith Grossman

A couple weeks ago, I watched "Love in the Time of Cholera" because I recently read the book. I gave the movie 3 stars, and the book 2.5. So, I wasn't a fan of the book, and my husband makes fun of me for watching movies for books I didn't like. But what can I say? I'm just a completist. (Also, if you didn't like the book you don't have to worry about the movie "ruining" it. In fact, sometimes it even improves the experience.)

 

If you liked the book, you should definitely check out the movie. The acting is good, the costumes and setting are beautiful, and overall it is a very lush and well-done film. It's also surprisingly faithful to the book -- and I say surprisingly just because it seems so many Hollywood adaptations of books resemble their source material in title and character names only.

 

There was one thread in the book that they left out of the movie, to its detriment, I think. In the book, Florentino has a friendship with a woman who has risen through the ranks in his place of work. At one point, the book has him wishing she were a prostitute so that he could sleep with her, even if he would have to pay her to do so. This is because, when he does get around to propositioning her, she turns him down. Never in their long friendship does she allow it to become sexual. 

 

This relationship was completely eliminated from the movie, which gives the viewer the impression that every woman in the world that Ariza ever wanted, he got. Except, of course, Fermina Daza. Which really just cements my interpretation that "Love in the Time of Cholera" is mostly a horny-man's fantasy, and the fact that it is written well and portrayed on film skillfully and beautifully allows it to be considered "high art" instead. But Florentino comes across as just as skeezy in the movie, and I was just as repulsed by him as in the book. 

 

The book also made a second concession: it aged Florentino's 14-year-old lover (who was also his ward) into a college student. This makes a HUGE difference, because while a 71-year-old who sleeps with a college student is still pretty much a dirty old man, he is no longer a pedophile or a child abuser. Although the movie directors wisely surmised that probably nothing could bring the viewer back to sympathy with Florentino after seeing him in bed with a youngster, in some ways I think the movie does the viewer a disservice in glossing over what a skeeze Florentino really was. 

 

So, similarly to the book, a beautiful execution was not enough to save a truly puerile and sickening protagonist. 

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-02-01 15:53
Book 8/100: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez,Edith Grossman

Well, now that I've read this book, I have to wonder what all the fuss is about.

I prefer character-driven to plot-driven books, and beautiful writing can make up for a lot, but none of that was enough to shake me from my boredom with this book while Marquez showed off his stunning literary skills and powers of perception of the human heart while I just waited for something to HAPPEN. Because this book is not all that long but is somewhat "epic" in scope, following its primary characters from youth into old age, the whole thing reads a bit like a glorified summary, without nearly enough dialog and wholly lacking in momentum.

I think this is supposed to be made up for in how "endearing" Florentino Ariza is, but I did not find his lifelong devotion to Fernina Daza to be romantic -- to me, it wavered between being creepy/stalkerish and pathetic. He had no idea of who she really was throughout the majority of her life -- instead, he built her up into whatever he wanted her to be based on his projections of who she was when she was fifteen. Perhaps if the book had addressed the falseness of this kind of love or served as some sort of cautionary tale I would have accepted it, but it mostly turns out all right in the end, rewarding the romantics and making the realists feel squeamish and a little nauseated.

Also, for all of Marquez's delving into the intimate details of his female characters, like what kind of orgasms they had or what they thought of when they heard their husbands pissing, so much of this book reads like an indulgent male fantasy. Marquez portrays not one, not two, but THREE instances of rape as "love," with the victim longing for his or her rapist forever more after it happens. While we're on the subject, he throws around the word love far too much in this novel, so that it can stand in for practically any emotion or act at all -- rape, obsession, lust, fantasies, etc. etc.

For me, the book's redeeming quality was in its portrayal of the marriage between Fernina Daza and Dr. Urbino, particularly in its examination of the world-shifting discovery of infidelity. Still, the emotional impact of that was somewhat corrupted by Marquez's implication/belief that pretty much all husbands will cheat, even the "good" ones.

All in all, the book excused far too much horrible behavior from not great characters all in the name of "love." [Would Fernina Daza have been capable of "loving" Florentino if she ever learned that, just before her husband's death, he had been having sex (statutory rape) with the 14-year-old ward in his charge, while he was in his seventies? I know I wouldn't.]

I've been told One Hundred Years of Solitude is much better, but I'm not sure I've got the stomach or the patience to return to Marquez in this lifetime.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-12-03 03:47
Love in the Time of Cholera
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez,Edith Grossman

I'm so sick of love stories where the dude is a total creep and it's just fine because it's all for true love and it all gets glossed over or ignored.  Florentino Ariza is a teenage obsessive creep who ends up being a super creep for his whole life obsessed with his lost "love" Fermina Daza. From a writing stand point the book was well done and it was interesting to hear a book in this time and location, but I can't get over how fucking creepy Florentino Ariza is. 

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review 2014-12-08 00:00
Love in the Time of Cholera
Love in the Time of Cholera - Edith Grossman,Gabriel García Márquez Not so fond of 20th century translated literature. Actually considered giving up on this around half way through. I really prefer linear stories and this was making me sea sick. However. I'm glad I stuck it out and read through to the last page. It was satisfying in the end.
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text 2014-09-25 21:19
#Bookadayuk Day 25: A Book Recommended by Your Parents
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez,Edith Grossman

If by recommended, you mean stolen, then Love in the Time of Cholera. My parents never really suggested books to me in any direct way, but I would see what they were reading and snatch titles from them. This one was on my dad's shelves, and I "borrowed" it. It's been on my shelves for 12 years now. It was one of my earliest experiences with magical realism, aside from Like Water for Chocolate, and while I don't remember much in the way of concrete events from a book read more than a decade ago, I do remember being sort of hypnotized by a style and jumbled chronology that I wasn't really familiar with.

 

Since it had the Penguin cover, I must have been expecting it to be smutty:

 

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