Memories of my Melancholy whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

memories of my Melancholy whores

Memories of my Melancholy whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Columbian fiction

Original title – Memoria de mis putas tristes

Translated by Edith Grossman

Source – Library

Well I decide a while ago when news of Gabriel Garcia Marquez having dementia and not in the best of health at this moment in time ,he has won the Nobel prize and sure is a writer I have to say little about as he is one writer in translation that seems to have crossed that magic barrier to be read by everyone regardless of it being in translation (wouldn’t it be great for more writers to break that wall in the reader’s mind )  well up to now I have only one book under review  on the blog by him so hope in coming months to add a few but not being a big rereader at best of times when I was this on in the library which I hadn’t read it seemed a great place to start .

At one time I thought these bed-inspired accounts would serve as a good foundation for a narration of the miseries of my misguided life ,and the title came to me out of the blue .Memories of my Melancholy whores .

The narrator comes up with the actual book title .

Well where to start with Memories of my Melancholy whores ,it is his last book published in English and the last but one in Spanish (that being a collection of his speeches published in Spanish in 2010 ).So the main character in the book is a unamed reporter ,he is on the verge of his 90th birthday ,he decides he wants one last fling with a teen virgin to maybe go out in a blaze of glory  .So he meets the local madam Rosa to set this up ,as we do this the man recalls past women ,the narrator the old man choose a wild life of women over love he recalls his life over the course of the book in small chunks  .He then meets the girl Rosa has found for him Delgradina ,she is 14 and perfect in the old man’s eyes, she has wonderfully flawless skin and hair , because the second he sees her for the first time in his life he falls deeply in love .He shares nights with here but Delgradina isn’t her real name ,he never finds out more about her .

She was surprised when I mentioned the name Delgradina .That isn’t her name ,she said ,her name is …. Don’t tell me I interrupted ,for me she’s Delgradina .She shrugged all right ,after all ,she’s yours,

He never even knows her real name this young girl he has fallen so much for



Well this is a clever switch on his earlier book love in the time of cholera ,florentino is the flipside of this narrator a man who meet and had to leave his true love for most of his life sleeping with many women ,waiting this story follows a man maybe not knowing it but searching for that true love .Other Marquez traits are there like a  time span narrative , like  in a number of his other books. This book although is told in the present as the man reflects and remembers  the  nine decades in which he has lived   and the changing scenery around him  ,Marquez has always been the master of regret and solitude in his books his two best novels are rife with it  both present in this book .What is this man ?What is the sum of his life ? yes he is a fairly well-known report that has in the recent times written a weekly piece on the town and its life .But is that enough ? questions always questions  in Marquez (well that is what I come away with questions of life ) false turns ,missed chances ,lost loves and that one true love .If this is his last book it is a fitting tribute to the man as it has what made him the star he has been for the last fifty years and I would say is short enough for even those none readers to try .One can say yes maybe a 90-year-old and 14 year is wrong ,but the actual sex and meeting is a sideline in this book .The main themes are Marquez stand fare .

Have you read this book ?

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mee
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 12:33:43

    This is the first book by Garcia Marquez that I read. I’m not sure if I wholly appreciated it, but it didn’t put me off him. I read One Hundred Years of Solitude a couple of years after that and loved it. Hope to read his other works soon-ish.


  2. Heather
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 13:57:11

    I don’t know why I haven’t read any of this author’s works. My sister has several and I have seen them on her shelf for years. I have even picked some up and looked them over. I really must make more of an effort. My sister is a great one to discuss books with, unlike me, she is able to remember them a long time later even down to some of the fine points. thanks for the reminder of this author.


  3. Vishy
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 18:19:54

    Nice review, Stu! I haven’t read this book but it looks interesting from your review. It is sad that Marquez has dementia now. By an interesting coincidence, I also read a Marquez book recently 🙂 It was ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’. Have you read this? I didn’t like it as much as I expected to, and I am hoping that I have better luck with my next Marquez book. I didn’t know that Edith Grossman also translated Marquez’ works. I thought all his novels were translated into English by Gregory Rabassa. Thanks for this nice review.


  4. storberose
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 21:20:39

    I consider this one of his weakest books; I have read all his fiction and I appreciate many of his books, but this wasn’t even bad by his usual standards, it was bad by any standards.


  5. Lisa Hill
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 08:13:47

    Hi Stu, I’ve read Love in a Time of Cholera but I have to say that I wasn’t very keen on it. But because he’s so famous and a Nobel winner and all, I thought I’d give him another try with 100 Years of Solitude, but I abandoned that, unfinished.
    I guess he’s just not my kind of writer. I don’t like the way he represents women.


  6. Brian Joseph
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 10:09:33

    I read Love in the Time of Cholera and as you allude to this books sounds in some ways to be a counterpoint to that one. I absolutely loved that book.


  7. Amritorupa Kanjilal (Rivers I Have Known)
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 11:55:23

    Yes, I’ve read Memories of my Melancholy Whores, but it is not one of my favorite books by Marquez, primarily beacuse it is too short, and it seems that just as the Maestro begins to weave his magic, the book is over…


  8. Nana Fredua-Agyeman
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 12:33:17

    I haven’t read this or any book by Marquez (an anomaly I will correct) but your review reminds me of Andre Brink’s Before I Forget.

    Thanks for sharing this.


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June 2013


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