"It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love."
This is one of my most favourite first lines, from one of my most favourite novels: Love in the Time of Cholera by the awe inspiring Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who died a few days ago, aged 87.
I remember being completely blown away by his magic realism approach to story telling. Perhaps I could see parallels between my Greek childhood, which was also filled with dreams, curses and ancient feuds, and his Colombian heritage. He has had, without a doubt, a huge influence on many, many writers—including myself.
Not very long ago I reread Love in the Time of Cholera. Rereading novels is not something I often do. I've probably only reread a small handful of books. I remembered how obsessed I was with this novel when I first read it in the late 80s. I remember leaving it behind somewhere, possibly at home, and sitting on the tram, contemplating buying another copy. I didn't want to have to wait to continue reading it.
I have five of his books, though I do not own his most famous work One Hundred Years of Solitude. I believe the time has come for me to finally read it.