One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Márquez
448 pages (trade paperback)
Nobel laureate Márquez founded magic realism with the publication of this novel, considered his masterpiece. It is at once Latin American social commentary, a fictional biography of the region and its culture, an epic chronicle of a South American village's rise and fall, and the family history of the Buendias. Plot: there really isn't one, aside from the conglomeration of the previously mentioned topics. This is such a wacky novel! My head hurts from trying to distinguish all of the Aurelianos (and José Arcadios, and Amarantas/Úrsulas/Remedioses). And can there be much more incest? Unfortunately, for me the book has one fatal flaw: I didn't once care about any of the characters. They were born and they died, but I only kept reading because I wanted to finish reading.
Nonetheless, if you are interested in magic realism, lit theory, or Latin America, I highly recommend One Hundred Years of Solitude. Character development is not a strong point, but in many ways, that is the point.