I buy books. And sometimes I read them. This blog is for the times when I do more than just store shelf candy.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Being an advocate of child protection, I was, of course, appalled by the theme of this book. There is nothing appealing about this unusual, or more like bizaare romance, if you can call it that, between a ninety year old man and a 14-year old virgin. Yes, worse than the age disparity between Lolita and Humbert Humbert.

The attraction to the book was the size. I was behind on my 2-book a month target; this one, with its 115 pages, offered a way for me to catch up. This, however, is not a lightweight by literary standards. Excellent writing as is always the case for Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Much praise should also go to the book's translator, Edith Grossman. I often wonder about book translators -- if they can use the English language the way they do, why do they not write books themselves.

Back to Marquez. This book proves what a remarkable writer he is. As he writes from the point of view of the ninety year old man, you get to see life the way he does, and with him, rejoice, obsess, fear, grieve, panic, and go through all the crazy emotions of being in love. And for a moment, for 115 pages, suspend judgment and forget how perverse his desires really are.

To recap: iffy subject, remarkable writing, i'm back on target on my 24-books for 2008 goal.

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