although all three books are considered to be of the same genre, they are all very different in many ways. yes, they all contain instances where magical events occur and they each tell of a history of a group of individuals, but when, where and how they take place are very different as well as each authors’ style of writing.
Leyendas de Guatemala by Asturias was probably the most difficult to read and understand. the book being divided up into short stories was helpful in the sense that it was easier to read and you didn’t have to remember everything that occurred in the preceding chapter. on the other hand, Cien Anos de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, although it was divided up into chapters, was difficult to follow and remember who every character was and what had happened in the previous chapter. Carpentier’s El Reino de Este Mundo was the easiest to follow and a good length also, didn’t drag on forever like Cien Anos.
as for content, I really didn’t get in to any of the three books and found it difficult to keep on reading. Asturias really didn’t have much of a story line in my opinion and Garcia Marquez had too much of a story line. Carpentier maintained a pretty clear story line but it just wasn’t that engaging. it was interesting that each author incorporated some sort of history of each of their native countries into the story line, especially Carpentier where the majority of the characters were actually real people. it’s always nice to learn about history through a story rather than in a history book.
the magical realism aspect I found differed greatly in all three books. Leyendas consisted mostly of magical events where as Cien Anos had few magical events and Carpentier being somewhere in the middle. i thought Garcia Marquez and Carpentier portrayed magical realism very well in their books. the magical events were very convincing and seemed almost normal like every day life occurrences in each of the story lines. Asturias’ stories were almost all magical events and it was easy to conclude that they were myths within reading the first few sentences. i preferred the more discrete magical evens of Carpentier and Garcia Marquez to the mythical events of Asturias.
overall it is difficult to compare these three books as I find them all to be very different. it makes it very clear that magical realism can take many forms and be used in different ways to create different effects and evoke different emotions in the reader.