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PSIPOOK | books | Memories of My Melancholy Whores, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One hundred years of melancholy whores
Title: Memories of My Melancholy Whores
Author: Gabriel García Márquez
Publisher: Vintage International
Price: ¥1,050
ISBN: 0-307-27849-2

Age has not diminished Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude. His most recent novel, Memories of My Melancholy Whores is slight in physical stature only because of the remarkable compression of style Márquez has achieved. It is his first novel in 10 years not because he has retired but because he has been apparently working on a screenplay of his epic One Hundred Years and fighting lymphatic cancer, which is bound to distract anyone.

The story is of a bachelor, a small town newspaper columnist and man of taste and learning, who on the eve of his 90th birthday decides to acquire a teenage virgin for, presumably, a last night of passion. The girl when he meets her is so tired from her day job in a sweatshop and from looking after her younger siblings she simply sleeps, leaving the bachelor to doze beside her. The bachelor develops a passion for the sleeping girl and develops a routine of spending the night with her — arriving after she has gone to sleep, leaving before she wakes up.

We are reminded of Junichiro Tanizaki’s classic of age Diary of a Mad Old Man, but where Tanizaki’s realism leads into catalogues of ailments and treatments, Márquez’s story assumes a dreamlike, mythic quality in which the hero finds his days filled with hallucinations of the girl in the identity of the fictional Delgadina. The story brims with pathos and wisdom and Márquez’s gentle humour. A return you hope, not a swan song.

Kansai Scene, October 2006

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By the way, have you read Chris Page's novel Weed? It really is rather fantastic.

Words of praise for Weed from a publisher in London.

"... it’s really witty and very strong ... I would compare the writing to Robert Rankin, or a really satirically biting Tom Sharpe, and will say again that I’m really impressed by it"



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