This review may contain spoilers.
A book that could potentially have been a great book, but that was doomed from the start because of one information.
This story talks about an old journalist, who, after completing his 90th birthday, seeks to have sex with a virgin girl. After having a conversation with a bawd that he knew from earlier times, she arranges a date for him with a young prostitute, who is selling her virginity to help her family. But, instead of having sex, he ends up falling in love with her.
The book is very well written, despite the fact that Gabriel García Márquez has a peculiar way of writing dialogues (by mixing them with the rest of the text with no clear separation). The writing is poetic, despite the simple vocabulary.
But there’s one information that threw me off, that kinda spoiled the whole thing for me: the girl is 14 years old. Ok, he never had sex with her, but that doesn’t make the fact less reprehensible. Despite not having sexual relations with her, she becomes an obsession of him, as he spends hours admiring her, kissing her and even writes columns about her. The fact that there wasn’t a sexual relation doesn’t make it less wrong.
Maybe if this fact had a purpose on the story, I’d have tried to accept it better. But, for me, there isn’t. If the girl was 18 years old, in my opinion the book wouldn’t lose any of his beauty and the story wouldn’t be spoiled. It seems that his deliberate choice was made just to be polemic.
This fact bothered me so much that it wasn’t possible to put myself at the perspective of the protagonist. I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to be part of that.