Choosing a Márquez novel is not as easy as it seems. The two biggies, of course, are 100 Years of Solitude (which one friend described as his "best and most important work") and Love in the Time of Cholera* (which the same friend said is "lush and beautiful" but "doesn't have the scope and power" of Solitude). The overwhelming bulk of the advice though was simple: pick something short. Oh, everyone agrees that Márquez is a wonderful writer, but - so they all say - his subject matter is, without exception, deeply depressing and terribly hard to wade through. One friend said she'd never been able to finish a single Márquez, though she wondered if it was a "girl thing"; my beloved tells me a mutal friend of ours described reading Márquez as walking through wet concrete, every page dragging and no joy in sight.
So, since this is meant to be the kick off, and since in any case I'm already two weeks past my start date, I have followed this advice. Luckily my beloved owns a copy of No One Writes to the Colonel, which I have learned from the blurb is set in Márquez's own beloved, the fictional Colombian town of Macondo. The Colonel of the title rests his hopes for a better future in, and I quote the next bit, "his rooster, which for him, and indeed the whole town, has become a sumbol of defiance in the face of despair..."
It's only 69 pages long. I'll see you back here in a few days.
By the way, I overstepped the mark when I said I was also "finishing off" What Does a Martian Look Like? - I'm barely a third through it. Just getting to the interesting bit, though - more on that one when I finish it. Oh - you didn't think this blog would only feature books from the challenge, did you?
*Perhaps unsurprisingly for a science comedian, I can't help but think of Emalina Torrini's album Love in the Time of Science, which despite a promising title and the gorgeous voice of the artist was rather disappointing.