I’m about half way through One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Sometimes it gets confusing remembering the characters’ names, because most of them are almost the same, since the family keeps recycling the same names from one generation to the next. One reviewer on Goodreads said that it annoyed them so much that they ripped out the one of the first pages that contained the family tree and used it as a bookmark.
The chapter I just finished was about the identical twins Jose Arcadio Segundo (JAS) and Aureliano Segundo (AS). Nobody could tell them apart, not even their family members. They were troublemakers at school, constantly confusing teachers by pretending to be each other. As children their habits were the same, they had the same dreams, woke up at the same time and even had bathroom urges at the same time. They used to pretend to be one and other so often that they likely confused themselves, forgot who’s who, and permanently switched identities.
Over time they began to show differences – AS grew to a towering height and JAS was smaller and bonier. JAS once witnessed an execution via firing squad and was so revolted by the act of violence that he ended up becoming a priest… and a professional gambler that placed bets on cockfights.
JAS then started seeing a woman that AS also liked. So when JAS was not with that woman, AS would pretend to be JAS and see that woman behind JAS’s back. And then the woman broke up with JAS because she got an STD – whether the STD was from AS or JAS is unknown and all three of them had to take elaborate steps to get cured. AS told the woman the truth about how he pretended to be his brother so that he could sleep with her, and somehow she forgave him (Her name was Petra Cotes or PC for short) and they continued to see each other for a long time, even after AS got married and had children with a different woman.
Lady Luck also had a major hard on for AS, for AS was considered to be extremely lucky in regards to his livestock. Quote from the book: “His mares would bear triplets, his hens laid twice a day, and his hogs fattened with such speed that no one could explain such disorderly fecundity except through the use of black magic.” Some believed that his luck was due to his relationship with PC. The more he fucked her, the more animals he wound up with.
Meanwhile JAS the cockfighting priest made it his life mission to find a treasure that was reportedly hidden somewhere at the bottom of a sea. He even borrowed money from his brother to fund the expedition and even though it was a complete failure, he did manage to bring back French courtesans that were highly skilled in the art of love. His foreign companions decided to stick around and provided tough competition to the local prostitutes.
So yeah, that’s just a fraction of the novel that I’m currently reading. Inspiring isn’t it?