There is something wonderful about a novella; a sense of dipping only a toe into another world. Visiting for a short while makes it easier to settle in a space that might not be naturally yours, a chance to try out a new author, genre or style of writing. I think I might find a longer work by Marquez more daunting but this was a lovely taster and I found myself taking the time to enjoy the slow meandering tale. The entire world of the colonel is painted with such attention to detail and colour it doesn’t matter that the plot meanders and the pace dawdles. This seems to have been written to be read in the shade when it’s too hot to do anything fast.
Here’s a snippet of brilliant writing:
The lightning interrupted her. The thunder exploded in the street, entered the bedroom and went rolling under the bed like a heap of stones.
and here ‘the woman’ and ‘the colonel’ are as close to names as these main characters get:
‘You can’t eat hope,’ the woman said.
‘You can’t eat it, but it sustains you,’ the colonel replied.
From: Hatchards St Pancras
Read: In a morning while sitting by the pool
Felt: Transported to Spain. Not absorbed by the book but more a curious observer.
Liked: the hope and simplicity of the Colonel
Would recommend: as a quick time filler, a good hand luggage book for a short journey.