Monday, February 22, 2016

Teen review: Nobel Prize winner

Memories of My Melancholy Whores
by Gabriel García Márquez
Classic fiction
Not part of a series
Reading level: Mature

Reviewed by d.r.z., grade 11


Memories Of My Melancholy Whores tells a story of a journalist who, for his 90th birthday, wants to complete his desire of sleeping with a young, virgin prostitute. (Freaky, right?) In the occurrence he ends up falling in love with the young girl, or the idea of her, that is. He shares the story of his past love life and how it has effected him.

The cover art was beautiful, with a Spanish theme to it that fits Márquez’s work and not just for the fact that he’s a Columbian writer! I’d rate this book a 3.5. While the plot may seem unsettling, Márquez delivers it in a beautiful writing voice. He tells the story of a sad man worn out by time, and shows us this reflective side of the main character. You are able to sympathize with him, despite all his flaws. He feels as if falling in love with the young girl is a way for him to make up for the past and get a final chance to redeem himself before he dies. The character’s mindset is just very cynical, in a way. He doesn’t see himself in a positive light, he admits that he’s ugly and mediocre.

The book has a overall sorrowful theme to which I feel that everyone could relate. We don’t have to be completely obsessed with the past, but we will have a part of our life to which we will look back and wish it had been different. One of the best quotes I came across in the book was,
“The adolescents of my generation, greedy for life, forgot in body and soul about their hopes for the future until reality taught them that tomorrow was not what they had dreamed, and they discovered nostalgia.”
This actually really hit me, especially for a person getting closer to becoming an adult. It made me aware that sometimes we try to live in the teenage moment and shadow the reality of life after college, and we start to yearn for a time in which we didn’t have to worry about such a thing.

Overall it was a good book, but I wasn’t necessarily a fan of how the story wrapped up. I’d recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t mind reading a gloomy book that could be partly unsettling at times.

Editor's note: Since there have been half a dozen different versions of this book, I'm not sure to which book cover she is referring--this may not be it.

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