Book Review – Memories of My Melancholy Whores

TITLE: Memories of My Melancholy Whores

AUTHOR: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
TRANSLATED BY: Edith Grossman
FORMAT: Hardback


Originally in Spanish, Memories of My Melancholy Whores tells the story of an old man, starting on the eve of his 90th birthday.  He talks about the women in his life, and the story really weaves in an out like a love story.

The main bulk of the story, though, is his ongoing dealings with a Madame, who he calls very early in the story, demanding a virgin.  She finds him a 14-year-old, and he travels to his brothel to meet the girl.

Okay.  <insert sound of needle scratching across a record> Say What??!

Yeah.  A 90-year-old guy buys himself a 14-year-old.  I’m kind of grossed out.

I’ll totally admit that when I got to that part I was willing to shut the book and not come back to it.  But the book never stirred much of a controversy, and this is the same author that wrote 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, among others.  So I decided to stick it out since it’s short.  (It’s only a novella.)  The first night with the girl, he ends up watching her sleep (naked) and leaves his money on the pillow for her anyway, because he wants her to have it.

So, let’s just say you shouldn’t read this book in the break room at work.

The rest of the story is fairly simple.  There’s some stuff about his family – mostly his mother – and the old family homestead.  There’s a little bit about his long career as a newspaper columnist, but mostly modern stuff about his column.

It’s short.  (Around 25k by my estimate)

It’s quite simple and ridiculously complex at the same time.

I think it’s worth a read, but I’ll warn you that you’ll feel weird after reading it.  Let it marinate for a couple days.  4/5.


Book 5/52.

This book satisfies the Not Originally In English
component of the challenge…

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