On the eve of his ninetieth birthday a bachelor decides to give himself a wild night of love with a virgin. As is his habit–he has purchased hundreds of women–he asks a madam for her assistance. The fourteen-year-old girl who is procured for him is enchanting, but exhausted as she is from caring for siblings and her job sewing buttons, she can do little but sleep. Yet with this sleeping beauty at his side, it is he who awakens to a romance he has never known.
Tender, knowing, and slyly comic, Memories of My Melancholy Whores is an exquisite addition to the master’s work.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 115 pages (hardcover edition)
Source: Toronto Public Library
Publication Date: November 14th 2006
My main motivations for reading this book were very simple. I needed to read a book by a Colombian author for my Around the World challenge, and I've been meaning to give this author a try ever since I saw his book Love in the Time of Cholera in the 2001 movie Serendipity starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusak. Plus lets be completely candid here, I'm 21 and am allowed to be immature at times so I also wanted to read the book because of the title. Sue me. So when I saw this short little book sitting high on the bookshelf at the library I thought...that now was as good a time as any to finally see what all the hype about him was about.
I knew right off the bat that this was going to fall in the more poetic side of novels and I was fine with that, despite my misgivings about novels like that I was more than willing to go into this one with an open mind. Now it may surprise some that I actually liked a lot of the story. I found the character of our unnamed protagonist to be fascinating, at 90 years old he calls a madame requesting a virgin for the night to help him celebrate.
Now I request that you get your heads out of the gutter because while the book is sensual there's no other words for it, it is not sexually explicit. In fact if you read it you'll know what I'm talking about. Most of the book actually focuses on the man reminiscing about what he has missed out in in life as well as his recollections with whores.
Despite the fact that I liked this book more than I thought I would I feel as though I didn't get what I expected out of reading it. I thought that it would be better and more...captivating. Perhaps it's because that it's a novella and that to fully experience this writers obvious talents I will have to read one of his longer works, of which I have every intention. However, I'm thinking that it will be a long while before I pick up anything written by him. I appreciate the book for what it was and his writing style is beautifully poetic and I adore it. For me it was the story that was slow and lacking.
I would recommend this to people who enjoy novellas, poetic novels, fans of the author or other people who want to give this author a try but are not sure where to start. Like always, I encourage you to try the book for yourself and see if you like it. If you do. Leave me a link to your review.
★ ★ ★