“The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.”
Thus begins the book I just read at the recommendation of a guy-friend. The title itself should have given me a clue that this is a book I should probably not read. But it being a slim novella, I soon was at the end.
It is a well written book but my sympathies are not at all with the narrator, a 90 year old bachelor of “exemplary ugliness”, a mediocre journalist who has “never gone to bed with a woman [he] didn’t pay”, and who by the age of 50, could count “514 women with whom [he] had been at least once.
No, I couldn’t care at all if his body was falling apart or not and if his faculties were failing him or not. My sympathies are with the 14 year old virgin chosen to satisfy this old man’s fantasy. A girl who not only has to sew on buttons in a factory all day long, but now must turn to prostitution to help support her family.
For this reason, my one word description would be “despicable”. An old whore-crazed fool’s sentimental sap about falling in “love” for the first time. A misogynist piece of “work” written by a Nobel Prize winner.
Why Senor Márquez, why?