One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
One of the masterpieces of the Nobel Prize awarded author, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ is a metaphorical book about the cyclicity of history and about the fate of mankind, set in the exotic South-American village of Macondo. By reading the book, you immerse into a fascinating, often bizarre universe, which has almost nothing to do with the ordinary boundaries of time and space. Places, events and characters mingle, creating a unique atmosphere.
The book can be regarded as a saga, while it follows the timeline of the Buendia family, the founders of Macondo, for/during over a century. Initially a small and isolated village, Macondo develops in time, but its progress is only a temporary stage which precedes the fulfilling of prophecy made by the gypsy Melquiades…
Unusual (and sometimes mystical) events occur, but the action is based on facts from the history of Colombia, which is typical for magical realism.
All in all, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ will undoubtedly help you escape from the tediousness of everyday life and its surreal ending will probably provide you food for thought.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
This novel is a less optimistic parable about the true human nature and about the evil that lurks inside people (even children). Due to its grim contents, the manuscript was rejected by 21 publishers before its appearance.
When their plane crashes on a remote and deserted island, a group of children attempts to organize itself in order to survive. At first, it seems that they are going to create an ideal ‘society’, to rebuild the Garden of Eden, but soon, they begin to repeat the well-known mistakes of mankind. The line between good and evil is quite thin and, as some of them discover the pleasure to kill, the exhilaration of being cruel and develop savage rituals, the reader begins to wonder if he or she would have done the same things.
The book has some memorable scenes, including the exquisite “dialogue” between Simon and a pig’s head (which symbolizes chaos and evil) and, as a matter of fact, the title of the book is said to be inspired from the Hebrew name Beelzebub (‘god of the fly’), which is used as a synonym for Satan.
Does civilization eventually fail in front of our instincts? Golding’s answer is yes. What’s yours?
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
This novel will be particularly appealing for those who enjoy reading crime stories, but it has hidden meanings and symbols which go deeper than that.
The strange crimes at the abbey, the forbidden area of the library and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a famous book belonging to Aristotle will certainly attract the reader.As the murders seem to follow a scenario described in the book of Revelation, Guglielmo (William) of Baskerville (this name is perhaps a reference to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work) and his apprentice Adso of Melk use reason and logical deduction to find the culprit. However, things get more complicated when the feared Inquisition interferes into their plans…Also, there are philosophical debates which are meant to accustom the reader with the mentality and atmosphere of medieval Italy.Nevertheless, you may encounter some difficulties in reading the book, because of some parts which are written in Latin and which may not be translated. And, of course, when you’ve finished reading the book and if you enjoyed it, you can also watch its movie adaptation, starring Sean Connery as William and Christian Slater as Adso.