"The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin."
This is the first period of the book. So, from the beginning, we know this novella is about a veeery old man getting involved with a teenager.
Give me a moment to process that.
So that is why some reject this story as misogynistic. I can understand that. But if we are to reject characters so bluntly, then what is the point of reading? One of the perks of appreciating high literature is that it increases empathy, not lessen it.
Whenever we see an old man with a much younger woman, we smell mid-life crisis from kilometres away. With our 90-year old protagonist, it is the same. His desire for a younger woman stems from his insecurities of an (extreme) old age. And this relation stand throughout all the story.
So, are we reproaching the protagonist for using an innocent girl for sexual validation, or are we using his misbehaviour as a lesson about the perks of ageing, of absence of love, of carrying of life without greater sentiment, or even the vulgar problem of sex vs. love?
Forgive me, but I think I can take something good from this.
And the writing style is very flowy, the wording exact; it is the best paced Marquez I ever read.
So I can see why it irritates some, but overall it stands as an excellent piece of work.