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One Hundred Years of Solitude

Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 33.54
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Publisher's Summary

Includes a bonus PDF with a character chart!

One of the twentieth century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize–winning career.

The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility, the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth—these universal themes dominate the novel. Alternately reverential and comical, One Hundred Years of Solitude weaves the political, personal, and spiritual to bring a new consciousness to storytelling. Translated into dozens of languages, this stunning work is no less than an account of the history of the human race.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©1964 Gabriel García Márquez (P)2013 Blackstone Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Astounding

I loved this book, from "cover to cover" it was a whirlwind of carefully planned twists and mutations that always kept me wanting more. Though at times I found it difficult to follow the characters' states at points in the novel I was happy to gloss over a past chapter once if not twice more and discover new and exciting intricacies that make me think I will have to revisit this book at a later date.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Story

let's just say that the story spans over an entire family liniege and makes you feel like you were there with them through the their entire life experience. well told and written story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Enlightening View of South Amerindian Culture

Garcia weaves a colourful narrative of South Amerindian society at the confluence of the technological, scientific and industrial developments of the last century. The cast of characters will intrigue the reader and will linger long in one’s memory. A great read!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MW
  • 2019-03-28

Very sophisticated and titillating

Excellent reading of one hundred years of solitude. The narration seems to drag on a little bit as it is quite a lengthy book, but ultimately a very enjoyable version.

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Wow!!

The absolute best way to experience this story! I’ve read this book before, but feel as though I absorbed a great deal more this time around. Wonderfully narrated!

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I like i a lot!

I think the only really bad thing about this book is that you can sometimes tell it was written by the same person to write Love in the Time of Cholera.
All in all, this book is amazing good.

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  • Greg
  • 2014-02-26

Outstanding Audiobook!

Any additional comments?

One Hundred Years of Solitude has made a name for itself as one of the most stunning novels of the 20th Century. So, it’s no surprise that many readers, like myself, have anxiously awaited its release on audiobook… yet it should also come as no surprise to fans like myself, that this is an intricately woven piece of literature, often requiring a little legwork to fully grasp the complex web of characters. I went into my listening experience knowing this, and after reading some scathing reviews by other listeners – while I understand how translation from page to digital can create some inevitable need for clarifications – I have to disagree with such harsh reviews that seem to trash the audiobook as a whole. If needed, there are plenty of resources online to help the listener along, not to mention, a hard copy of the novel (which, in my opinion, everyone should have regardless)! I found John Lee’s performance full of clarity and rhythmic narration, quickly and effectively engaging me as a listener. After much anticipation, I was thoroughly pleased with this audiobook, and would definitely recommend it - with the understanding that, as a novel, it is complex – but SO worth it!

112 of 115 people found this review helpful

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  • Emilia
  • 2014-04-23

This story is meant to be listened to

I read this book in Spanish twice and in English once, but I had never enjoyed it as much as I do now, as I listen to it in my car on my way to work. The quality of the voice, its depth and resonance and the rhythm of the language have taken the story to new depths. Previous books by Garcia Marquez, have ben read by Latin accented narrators, and while I do not diminish their quality and professional talent, I believe that John Lee is a much better narrator for this book in its English version. I am genuinely bilingual and do not agree that a book has to be read by a Latino accented narrator just because it was originally written in Spanish. One Hundred Years of Solitude, is so big a story that it transcends cultures and gains when read by people in whose language it is translated. I live in Australia and I did not enjoy listening previous books by GM read with a heavy Hispanic-Californian inflection. That’s because this regional accent takes the story away from its narrative setting, Macondo, and locates somewhere in a neighbourhood of the United States where Hispanic people live. John Lee’s version gives this story its universality, and makes it a joy to listen, even when he has to round his vowels with a slight effort to pronounce Jose Arcadio Buendia, and that makes it special. In my humble opinion, an audio book works when there is harmony between a good story and an enjoyable sound, for it is sound that paints the picture. For example, I didn’t enjoy The Book Thief when I read it, but when I listened to its audio version, I was fascinated. Well done John Lee. I’m sure the master is happy.

119 of 124 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • 2014-02-09

Wonderfully Rich Novel, Beautifully Performed If

Some books, like Joyce’s Ulysses, gain immeasurably from audio readings but paradoxically can be frustrating to listeners because of the density of detail, number of characters and the bewildering nonlinear narrative flow.

I think 100 Years falls into this category. Fortunately, I discovered an approach that helped me a lot. I first simply listened to a chapter, then read the SparkNotes and/or Cliff Notes chapter summary available free online (referring to the character lists as necessary) and then re-listened to the same chapter. I found my comprehension and enjoyment of the book increased dramatically.

It also increased my appreciation of John Lee’s approach. He reads the English translation with a rhythmic lilt, which usually I associate with poetry, not prose. But it gives the book an “epic” feel as if you were listening to the Bible or Homer or Dante being read. I initially found this strange and irritating but grew to appreciate how it created a dreamlike, hallucinatory quality.

56 of 62 people found this review helpful

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  • Angie
  • 2014-03-21

This book is meant to be read!

This is one of the best books I've ever read. I've read it twice when I was in high school and was very intrigued by the complexity of the story. If you ever read it in paperback version, you'd know what I mean. The hierarchy of the family is complex with the same names being repeated over and over again, so it is a must to keep track of the hierarchy to fully understand the repetition of life and fate among the characters. Also, there are many small and subtle details throughout the story that convey lots of meaning, which is why I read it twice.

Well, all of those went wrong in this audio version. The narration is so fast that delivers almost no comprehension. Although I opened the hierarchy diagram from wiki while listening (which is very awkward and inconvenient), I got lost sometimes by very fast-paced narrating of names. Also, The break between paragraphs and stop/pause between sentences are terribly executed. I tried to slown down to 0.75x, but it was too much echo, so I gave up eventually.

I'm waiting for the kindle version to literally read it again and to enjoy every single detail of the story. It is truly a very good book.

28 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Melinda
  • 2014-02-05

What in the heck happened?????

I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude about 10 years ago, and have re-read it or referred to it many times, since. When I saw an email from Audible.com that it was now available as an AudioBook… I downloaded it immediately, as it is ALSO narrated by my All-Time favorite reader, John Lee so I did not even listen to a clip of it. Now, I am in several hours of my first listen, and, I feel bad about “warning” listeners, but this needs to be said:

The printed book comes with a handy chart of who is who, and how they are related their relationship together, whether they are married or have children… etc. THIS audio version does not have that chart (it’s like looking at a complex family tree) and at the pace that John Lee is tearing through it… he gets my vote for “fastest readers on Planet Earth” (Lee could , unless they just finished the print version it is super confusing. Many characters either have the same, exact name and the words just *sparkle* in writing. I remember sighing with joy and reading the same line over and over as it is one of the best written books, ever. I still recall that a tear of joy or gratitude came into my eyes many a time during both readings.

Reluctantly, I must give one of my all-time favorite novels a less than stellar review. I suppose there is a website somewhere that has the chart, but not even this listener (me) can understand what is going on…. And Mr. Lee is reading it so fast that the words do not sparkle. They are yelled at you, rushing by someone who needed to use the bathroom immediately or is late for an appointment and must hurry! It’s a very bad production. If one loves beautiful, poetic lines, then, please pick up a paper copy.

One hundred Years of Solitude MUST be read in print, as uninitiated people not familiar with the book will be even more confused as I am… It is hard for me to give a beloved novel such a low rating, but I must. If you have ever had ANY interest in reading OHYoS, please get a printed copy or download it into your reading device. I know the story by heart (I read it twice in a 2-year period because I am in 2 book discussion groups) and it was just as gorgeous the second time around. Whoever produced this beautiful book did a VERY poor job. And, it needs to come with a link to the chart… otherwise, you would not be able to tell who is who or what is happening.

What a bummer!. I thought it would be brilliant and amazing to listen to it, but it is frustrating that John Lee did not even pause for punctuation, much less read it as fast as possible (is Audible trying to win an Olympic medal for being the world’s fastest reader?), and that it is truly a terrible blow. I am SO disappointed. OHYoS’s audible is not good at all. In fact, it is frustrating and disappointing. I just want to find my print copy and read it again, savoring each line by exquisite line. Skip this format, and go find a nice paper copy, or AT LEAST follow along with whatever reading gadget you have... You will not be disappointed. This new Audio version blows. Such a giant let down for this OHYoS fan.

200 of 241 people found this review helpful

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  • desa zraick
  • 2018-12-14

Great story terrible narration

I read One Hundred Years of Solitude many years ago. I enjoyed the book and decided to get it on Audible.
The narrator, John Lee, is terrible. His tone is monotonous and he reads with a cadence that put me to sleep more often than not. He only had two character voices which he used over and over for different characters both male and female. I was so disappointed that I could not even finish the book. Pretty sure I will never get anything read by John Lee again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jordan Zinn
  • 2017-10-26

doesn't quite live up to the hype

Since most reviews regard this as a must -read classic I was expecting a poignant, entertaining book that would make me want to return to it each day. There are many good comments on human nature here, but you have to struggle along to get there. It felt like a run-on sentence describing calamity after maddening calamity. Not an entertaining piece. Instead of being thought provoking during the majority of the story, I found myself not caring and not wanting to return to it. A friend encouraged me to muddle through. There was an improvement in the last few chapters, and there is a lesson to be gained in its conclusion...still...it was painfull to get there. Maybe that's part of what makes it a unique classic?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • kim
  • 2014-05-26

Not working as an audio book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I had read this book years ago and loved it. When the author died recently I thought I would love to experience the book again. For me listening to this book is an excersize in frustration. The characters names are so similar that I cannot keep them apart and this is ruining the experience. With a book I can underline, check back easily and even keep crib notes but not in audio. For me audio books have limitations and this is one of them.

What didn’t you like about John Lee’s performance?

He is much too aggressive in his voice. It feels like I am being yelled at during the reading. He also is pretty consistant in this voice and so there is no break from his heightened voice.

Any additional comments?

I do not recommend this audiobook.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • n
  • 2014-02-18

Waited a long time for this

Where does One Hundred Years of Solitude rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As a book, it has been—after some treasured volumes of philosophy—the closest to my heart. I re-read it every few years to renew the taste of Garcia-Marquez' languid poetry in my mind. As an audio book it ranks in the top dozen, but no closer, I suppose because John Lee's somewhat grand and booming interpretation jars with my own imagined version of the words spoken aloud.

What other book might you compare One Hundred Years of Solitude to and why?

The epic of one larger-than-life family's history across a hundred years, it is similar to Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks. It stands out, however, in it's exploration of subjective reality (magic realism), and the themes of solitude, melancholy, the fluidity of time, the cyclical nature of man's weaknesses, tragedies, strengths, and triumphs. It is said to be a metaphorical picture of Colombia.

What three words best describe John Lee’s performance?

lively, inarticulate (with the Spanish names and words), stentorian

Any additional comments?

I think a bi-lingual reader might have made a better narrator, as John Lee's Spanish names were always very laboriously and stiffly pronounced.

Also, Lee always performed all the men's dialogue with the same sleazy, drawling, South-of-the-Border caricature voice, and all the women's dialogue in a slow exhalation that made the characters sound dazed and hypnotised.

All of which diminished the dignity and the humanity of Marquez' characters a bit.

Still, I have waited so long for an audio book to be made of Marquez' greatest novel, that I enjoyed the overall experience immensely.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Barbara
  • 2014-02-10

Love the narration

I had read this book twice before--so I knew what I was getting into. The narrator did a wonderful job, the names rolling easily and swiftly from his tongue. Those names, so similar, are sometimes confusing so I got out my paperback which has a family tree at the beginning. It would be good if audible offered a download of the family tree to help keep track of the generations of the Buendia family. Did I say I love this book?

21 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • vogrig
  • 2015-07-03

Surprising and captivating

A very dense book! Nothing what I expected! Rich in events and characters! A must!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful