One Hundred Years Of Solitude

By Gabriel García Márquez

"'It rained for four years, eleven months, and two days.' Thus Gabriel Garcia Marquez matter-of-factly begins one chapter of One Hundred Years of Solitude throwing open the shutters of our imagination. Delivered without hesitation or explanation, this simple sentence alerts us that we are in a world we know and yet don't know, reminding us that the laws of gravity may prevail on earth, but needn't in the novel." - Amor Towles
An epic tale which spans a hundred years of tumult and unrest in Latin America, One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the Buendía family, whose patriarch built the once flourishing city of Macondo, now dilapidated and in ruins. The progressive decline of the city is mirrored by the increasing depravity which spreads within the family across seven generations, until a hurrican erases any trace of Macondo from this world.


"'You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel...' is surely one of the great first sentences in 20th century fiction. At one declarative, wry, and subversive, Calvino both celebrates and overturns the conventions of the novel. In this book, he is like a genius tinkerer building a time machine from the appliances that he's salvaged from a junkyard." - Amor Towles
A man realises that, in the copy of the book he recently purchased, a Polish novel has been mistakenly printed on its pages. As he returns to the bookshop the following day, he finds out that a woman is there for the same reason. In this avant-garde novel, the story of the two characters is interspersed with extracts from the stories they read, in a series of parodies of literary genres.


Swann’s Way

By Marcel Proust

"In the first pages, Proust's narrator heart a whistle in the distance as he lies in bed, prompting him to think of the train that is crossing the countryside, which leads him to think of the traveller who is looking out the window having recently exchanged farewells beneath an unfamiliar lamp... How fluidly Proust moves between the concrete world of impressions into the poetic world of memory and imaginings." - Amor Towles
In the first volume in Proust's monumental novel In Search of Lost Time, the narrator recounts his childhood, telling the love story between Swann and Odette, which took place before his own birth and yet forsees his future relationships. The themes which characterise the author's work are already anticipated in the opening novel.