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text 2018-04-25 01:29
Multiple Trigger Warnings
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club) - Gabriel García Márquez

WARNINGS WARNINGS 
I don't recommend this book if you feel uncomfortable with books that depict graphically

* Pedophilia/rape [ A 9 year old girl forced to marry and later bear a child to a grown man (hide spoiler)]

* Incest/child abuse [ The Buendia family members are constantly falling in love with close cousins, half brothers, nephews. An older woman Amarantha makes out with her underage nephew (hide spoiler)]
* Non sensical Violence [ including the cruel death of a newborn, and that's the ending scene. This book leaves you feeling disturbed (hide spoiler)]
*Prostitution
* Cheating
* Bestiality
* Women treated as objects sometimes by their own parents


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If you like me grew up reading marvelous books like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Twilight, The Hunger games, which are all extremely strong in terms of characterization and character development and which are at times trashed by the same critics that praised this piece of cr%p, I doubt you'll enjoy this book because:

* No plot, everything is a messy mix of twisted, and I mean TWISTED, disturbing, cringe-inducing family anecdotes
*No character development. 
* Poor character presentation. Other than I know that Amarantha is somehow fierce it's difficult to describe the rest of the characters personalities. What are their goals? What do they want? What do they fear? Who are they? What are their motivations?
* Poor worldbuilding. Am I supposed to know how Macondo, the setting of this book looks like? All I know is that Macondo founders were trying to reach the sea and they couldn't and were tired of travelling so I know there's no sea close to this town. The rules of this world don't seem to follow a logic, either. It's like Garcia Marques just smoke weed and added whatever he saw when he was under the effects of the weed to add magical elements here and there. I rarely notice worldbuilding issues in my reads because I have a strong imagination. Even books that don't describe the rules of their worlds or the setting properly don't turn me off, but since this book is universally praised as a "master piece" I was expecting more. 
* No coherent timeline, Little to No dialogue
* Author breaking the rule of show don't tell 98% of the book

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I should have tried to convince my professor to change this assigment. I should've told him that this kind of topics are potential PTSD triggers for me (which is 100% true, although usually books don't activate triggers for me, certain kind of music and smells are triggering for me) or that they are against my religious beliefs (that'd been a lie, but I wish I had lied) Maybe it wouldn't have worked and still I'd been stuck to read this horrible book, but these professors should be more responsible when assigining this kind of disturbing readings and forcing people to read them taking away our sacred right of DNF a book we don't enjoy .

I'm aware that the author won a Nobel Prize, but it seems to me that it was more like the academy thought it'd be rebellious and edgy to give an award to this author leaving other more talented authors out, therefore steering controversy. Sort of like they did when they gaveBob Dylan the Nobel Prize even if he's a songwriter and poet more than a book writer.

I don't even know who is supposed to enjoy this book. I think that some Hispanic readers might find something good in this book because it seems to me that the author at times was talking about Colombian/Hispanic political issues in a metaphoric way, but honestly there wasn't enough of that.

Also, the opening line of this book is supposedly matter of study in English literature courses around the world 


'Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.'


I can see why some readers might find that intriguing and get hooked from there, but I read a lot of books with great opening lines/paragraphs in commercial literature. Angefall by Susan EE, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Maze Runner by James Dashner have strong opening lines that get you hooked. I think every reader gets hooked by different opening lines, so why critics and scholars think this opening line is better than any is beyond me. However, I'll say that the ending scene was strong and extremely disturbing. It's a scene that will make you feel haunted and in search of a happy reading because [ A newborn is eaten by ants. You're supposed to imagine the ants carrying only the carcass of what was moments before a lovely baby ... who was born with a pigtail O_O (hide spoiler)]

I'm only writing this because I need to organize my ideas for my essay. I doubt that writing my honest opinion about this trash will earn me a good mark, so I'm trying to find an angle to write about. Maybe I can write about the role of women in Garcia's books. The other Garcia's book I read was Chronicle of a foretold death which was thankfully short and somehow realistic, but still 100% misogynist. An oudated view of women is common in this author's writings.
My recommendations if you are forced to read this author:

* Write notes for each time a new Buendia appears. There are at least a dozen characters sharing almost the exact name and that is confusing
* Don't expect character development, don't expect world building
* Don't expect brilliant dialogue, although you can expect beautiful monologues
* Expect a lot of info-dumping and exposition
* Expect a lot of magical elements, but not the kind of magic that makes you want to live in this world.
* Expect a lot of misogynism It's like the author comes from ancient times or the Taliban and his views on women are very outdated. As a demi-feminist some scenes were hard to stomach.
* Keep an enjoyable read at hand because sometimes you're tired of this world and you want to get out of it by reading something good.

Long story short, this book is way Overrated. Overrated doesn't cover it. I think the author, may he rest in peace, might have written it under the effects of the weed.


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Best reviews I found on GR:
Martine's

Adam's

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1814633475
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review 2018-02-13 21:24
Peep Show - Isabella Starling Peep Show - Isabella Starling

This book was unlike anything I have ever read before. Yes, it was sexy hot, but the hero and heroine were both so messed up emotionally. There were parts in this story that were such an emotional read and at times I wasn't sure if could put myself through their heartbreak, but I am so glad I continued reading until the end.

Bebe Hall comes from a family of money and was always the good, little girl. When she went to college, she quickly became friends with Posy and Arden, cool girls who finally liked her. Together they got into all kinds of trouble until Posy's life unexpectedly ended. Bebe is now living in a shell of her former life, trying to forget what happened to Posy and spends most of her time drinking, partying, doing drugs and sleeping with any guy she can find.

After one night of partying, Bebe comes home to her apartment and notices a guy across the street having sex up against his window. This scene seems to draw Bebe in. The man, Miles Reilly, quickly notices Bebe watching and interacts with her daring her to go next. This starts the little game between Bebe and Miles.

Both Bebe and Miles live for this type of attention, playing off of each other. Both of these characters have such messed up minds it's crazy. As things progress, so does their friendship and relationship. On paper, these two should never be together, but in reality, these two are just what each of them needs. Their relationship was such an up and down roller coaster. It was like a train wreck, you just couldn't help but want to look.

Overall, I really loved this story. It was raw and emotional as well as sexy and hot.

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review 2018-02-03 14:16
One ballsy Detective!
The Late Show - Michael Connelly

For fans of Harry Bosch it cannot have escaped your notice that our intrepid cop is of an age where he should be thinking of retirement (by my estimate he is mid to late 60's) The question that all fans of Michael Connelly are keen to ascertain is who will replace him? who can possibly step into the shoes of this irascible lovable wily old coyote? So with a little trepidation and much nervous excitement I felt compelled to read and yes judge The Late Show which introduces Detective Renee Ballard who works the night shift affectionately known as the late show. Working these unsociable hours is a punishment for a false accusation she supposedly made against her senior officer Lieutenant Olivas, namely a sexual advance.

 

She is investigating two cases; the attempted  murder of Ramona Ramone a victim with gender id issues and a number of homicides at the Dancers night club. As always with crime stories of this type it is the politics of the job and in particular the role of a female detective within what many would judge as primarily a male environment. There is no better author than Michael Connelly to explore this issue and by doing so he not only creates a superlative story but gives the reader a real glimpse into the minds of those who patrol the dangerous streets of downtown LA. Ballard as you would expect is a ballsy operator originally from Hawaii where her father instilled into her a strong work ethic but more importantly taught her the skills and how to master working a paddle board. Whenever life and work becomes too hard and emotional she rides the waves at Venice beach always accompanied by her faithful dog Lola. Tragically her father died as a result of the sport he loved and her mum Makani abandoned her until a year later when her grandmother Tutu took custody of her. In this first novel, which is hopefully the start of a new series, Connelly expertly unfolds Renee Ballard before us introducing someone certainly equal to that old protagonist Harry Bosch.

 

Suffice to say the two investigations have a successful outcome and in the case of the Dances night club the author cunningly and expertly sends the reader in a totally false direction before revealing the real killer. No matter how good the plot the real test of a good book is if the author can create the smell, the feel and the emotion within the characters and their interaction with their environment (in this case LA)......."I'm talking about the darkness within. You have a job Detective, that takes you into the bleaker side of the human soul. To me it's like the laws of physics-for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. If you go into the darkness, the darkness goes into you. You then have to decide what to do with it. How to keep yourself safe from it. How to keep it from hallowing you out.".....

 

So could we possibly be seeing the birth of a great new female detective with lots of attitude? you betcha, move over HB, Renee Ballard is on the case. Highly Recommended

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review 2018-01-29 22:55
The Last Al Roker Story
The Talk Show Murders - Al Roker,Dick Lochte

Okay, there were moments that I was just frustrated with the story and then as this one went on there were some laugh out loud moments. 

Billy Blessing and the crew are in Chicago for the show and he has been sent to visit someone else's show, while a blackmailing former cop is on and this starts the ball rolling for many deaths and other things going wrong. Billy's past is being brought out by the former cop who wants lots of money to keep it quiet. At the same time there are so many others who he is trying to blackmail, the only thing, he went after the wrong man and is murdered for his troubles. 

While the murderer tries to get the files back, they are going after Billy and anyone who comes between him and the files. 

One of my favorite lines in the story involved Billy being kidnapped from in front of the police station, not once, but twice. 

The story was interesting and had moments of intrigue and I did not really have a clue about who murdered whom. I did feel that Cassandra's calls of irritation at Billy for not being around to help run his restaurant were over the top and the mysteries of what was wrong with the electric and where the rodents and bugs were coming from were just too much. 

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review 2018-01-27 21:59
Another from Roker
The Midnight Show Murders - Al Roker,Dick Lochte

This one was less showing of his beliefs, but he does have his main character, Billy Blessing, show his bias towards police. When he is involved in a bombing at the studio, where another person is blown up. He is asked why he didn't notify police of what had happened and states that he didn't believe it would do any good. 

 

In this mystery, he has been flown to CA to help start a new Midnight show and he meets an Irishman who has a past and his friend. They invite him to stay at the house that has been rented for them, in the guest house. He meets the daughter of a man he knew when he was living in CA and is supposed to be working with an author on a story about the serial killer that he helped police catch. When the host of the Midnight show is blown up the police suspect that Billy was the targeted person. 

 

It was an okay story and I was interested to know how it would end but unhappy with the biases against police. 

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