It took me a while to finish this book, probably because the style (long paragraphs, little dialogue, jumps in time) made it feel a lot like I had to plod through the story. But there were certainly some shining moments. Transition from one topic and occasion to another is done smoothly -- thus not disrupting the seemingly endless narration. I've been told Marquez's writing style in this novel is called magical realism. I'm not sure I really grasped what it means, but reading the book made me feel like walking through a long, complicated dream.
And now on to the story. To me, Florentino Ariza's so-called everlasting love sounds a lot more like a mentally unstable man's obsession. His claim of fidelity to Fermina Daza also falls like empty words when contrasted with his numerous sexcapades throughout the years (his latest one is especially sickening considering the circumstances). I actually liked Fermina and Dr. Urbino together, they seem like a good match. Marquez offers a lot to ponder on the question of the importance of love. How important is love in a marriage, and in life? Is it what you need most in life? Can you actually live without it?
I was curious as to how the story will turn out once Urbino dies, but as I read the last page I felt indifferent toward the ending. Perhaps it's because I was unable to sympathize with Florentino and thus couldn't care much whether or not he obtained his goal. Overall, two and a half stars for the writing, plus one and a half for the story.