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Four Gabriel Garcia Marquez novels become audiobooks

Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” first published in 1967, is a novel set in a bygone era of Colombian history without much technology to speak of. Now the book itself is finally starting to enter the digital age.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” is not yet available as an e-book. But now you can travel to the fictional Macondo in an audio book, from Blackstone Audio. The Ashland, Ore.-based company has acquired the unabridged audio rights to four works by García Márquez: “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” English translation by Gregory Rabassa; “Love in the Time of Cholera,” translated by Edith Grossman; “No One Writes to the Colonel,” translated by J. S. Bernstein; and “Memories of My Melancholy Whores,” also translated by Edith Grossman.

García Márquez won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 for, the committee wrote in its citation, "his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts." 

Blackstone is scheduled to release one book each month from September to December 2013, beginning with “Love in the Time of Cholera,” which recounts a decades-long love affair, and which will be read by Armando Durán, a member of the company at the acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It’s sure to be a lively read--Durán, a Southern California native, was the subject of an L.A. Times profile in 2009 and has appeared in works by Shakespeare, Chekhov and Arthur Miller, among many others.

Thom Rivera is set to read “Memories of My Melancholy Whores,” while narrators for the remaining two books have yet to be officially announced -- although Audible.com lists actor Jimmy Smits as the narrator of “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

Blackstone head of business development Rick Bleiweiss, who negotiated the deal, said, “It was a pleasure working with Márquez’s agent Carmen Balcells. While it was a long process, in the end we are very pleased with the arrangement and with our being able to bring these outstanding works to the public as audio books.”

Garcia Marquez, 86, lives in Mexico but is said to be seriously ill. He may or may not be suffering from dementia.

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hector.tobar@latimes.com

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