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This Month’s Book: Marquez’s ‘Love In the Time of Cholera’

In an attempt to prove that musicians aren’t just products of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, SPIN.com has gathered together an eclectic group of literary-minded musicians to participate in our monthly online book club. Each month, a different artist will select a book that has impacted his/her music career and our club will read and discuss. We bring you the highlights. CURATED BY EMILY ZEMLER

This Month’s Selection:
Love In the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 2003
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Selected by:
Tegan Quin, vocalist/guitarist for Tegan & Sara

Reason for Selection:
“If I’m not engaged in something that takes every bit of my concentration my mind wanders to thoughts of love. I write about love exclusively. I am a self-diagnosed past addict. I pine for lost love. I think incessantly about love I never had, love I really want to have, love I’ll never have, etc. When I was introduced to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s work it was like finding John Irving all over again for me. This book specifically pleased my incredible and out of control addiction to unrequited love. I adored every second of it. Enjoy.”

Discussion highlights:

“To be honest, it’s like nothing I’ve read before, stylistically speaking. I really love the story itself thus far, but I’m even more enthralled by Marquez’ style of writing. I love the way he meanders from passage to passage. My bandmates could kill me sometimes for jumping from story to story without ever actually finishing the one I started, and the way Marquez writes reminds me of this.” – Ryan Hunter, Envy on the Coast

“I’m really enjoying the read so far; I like the fact that it’s less magical and more realism. Something about the constant omens and signs of the other stuff I’d read in the same genre turned me off… seemed too clean to be credible. One of the stand-out lines so far: ‘The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast.'” – Dessa Darling

“I love that this book is all about Love. Love in every form: sacred, profane, physical, emotional, the love of time passed together. The characters are so vivid, so unique, but still believable. This book was especially well-timed for me, because, as I was reading it, I was also falling in love for the first time in my life. In fact, reading this book gave me the courage to call it Love, and not hide behind ‘still getting to know her’ or anything like that.” – Dan Koch, Sherwood

“I want what [the protagonist] has — perhaps not all of the struggle and internal turmoil- but the depth of love he experienced. I wonder if it even exists? Do we live in a different time/era? Can anyone in this ADHD/medicated society love someone who is not theirs for the better part of their life? I don’t think I could, to be honest. If love is not returned is it worth fighting for, for the duration of ones life? My favorite part of the book has to be the title. The fact that cholera feels a lot like the symptoms of love is rather amusing… and awkwardly true.” – Stephen Christian, Anberlin

“I was thrilled to see the story circumvent conventions. The characters were not without flaws. They breathed and reacted as we do. They were passionate and impulsive and by virtue of that sometimes ended up hurting each other. The line that resonated with me the most, I think, is this one: ‘Suddenly she sighed: “It’s incredible how one can be happy for so many years in the midst of so many squabbles, so many problems, damn it, and not really know if it was love or not.”‘” – Isaac Lekach, Acute

“The last chapter seemed nearly as though Gabriel Garcia Marquez keeled at his typewriter, and translator Edith Grossman penned the final pages to her liking, which culminate in a picnic-peach-syrupy ‘forever.’ What a position of power, to be a translator, eh? I wonder what justices/injustices are done to the text here. Wish I could do more than sound out the original copy.” – Shawn Harris, The Matches

“I’m not sure how I feel about relating so closely with [the protagonist’s] character, though I do not doubt that most people have to battle now and again with the symptoms-the gnashing and gnawing of your insides, the sleeplessness and anxiety, the nauseous analyzing and calculating, allowing every action to be on that unknowing other’s behalf, and never being present, always being off with her in your thoughts. [He] is the perfect embodiment of unrequited love. A shadow of a person- that’s exactly what I become when anyone has me by the heart. I’m not sure it could be expressed better and I admire him for hanging tough when even those of us with the most passionate and well intentioned love allow ourselves to manifest back into shadow-casting skeptics once another comes along.” – Dave Smallen, Street To Nowhere

“I picked up this book many times in high school and it was one of the rare choices that I could never finish. Probably because at that time, I didn’t know what love was, or what the devastation of the loss of it felt like. I am glad that this book found its way into my life now. The book brought up a few questions that I found myself vacillating and daydreaming about while reading. As musicians, can we please bring back the art of the serenade as a sign of affection? I would melt for any passionate musician who played a love waltz outside my window (or outside our tour bus window… whichever).” –Greta Salpeter, The Hush Sound

Next month’s selection:
Wanna read the next book along with the SPIN.com book club? Pick up Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (BUY FROM AMAZON), selected by Stephen Christian of Anberlin, and then check back here next month to see what the musicians thought and voice your own opinions!

Tags: Music News