Ten years is a long time to wait, and 115 small pages is something of an insult to the patient few still hoping to find resonance and relevance in Marquez's increasingly repetitive oeuvre. Unfortunately, there's no caveat here, no hidden payoff, no "but those few pages are sturdily built and packed with interesting new perspectives on Marquez's lush and humid prose." Instead, Marquez languidly prods his protagonist through the book in a fashion that borders on self-parody. The central idea here a 90-year-old whoremonger falls in love with a virgin beauty, only to meander through most of the rest of the book pining for her is the sort of thing a Marquez copyist would laugh off as too obvious. Though the occasional moments of gut-wrenching beauty provide brief reminders of why we're still paying attention, it's not enough in a book that's too little to start with.
Memories of My Melancholy Whores
By Gabriel Garc'a Marquez
(Knopf, 115 pages)