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Search tags: Gabriel-Garcia-Marquez
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review 2020-06-14 23:26
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel García Márquez

First of all, I need to thank Themis for recommending this masterpiece of a story. Themis is also the person who shall be blamed for the expansion in my TBR as I add all of Marquez's work. 


In the hands of another author, this story would have been four times as long, drawn out, and boring. Marquez manages to capture so much in so few pages. It's quite a feat. I had sworn to myself I wasn't going to just binge through this book in a day. Chalk that up to yet another promise I've broken. Oops.



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review 2020-05-06 21:15
Review of Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel García Márquez

A lot of people I respect for their reviews enjoyed this book but I didn't really love it. It is a short novel (more of a novella) and examines the murder of a character - the story starts and ends with the murder so it isn't a mystery but more of a look at the characters involved in and around the story. This was my first by this author and he writes well so I do look forward to future books, but this one did not really get me excited.

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review 2020-04-24 10:33
Shipwrecked Sailor Leads to Literary Treasure
The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor - Gabriel García Márquez

Mark Twain once wrote, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.” It’s an adage exemplified in this poignant account of survival at sea. The tale was originally related to a young reporter at the Bogota daily, ‘El Espectador’ in 1955. The young sailor, Luis Alejandro Velasco, was just twenty years old and would go on to experience a brief, but lucrative, period in the Columbian media spotlight, before sinking without trace. The reporter, belatedly attributed with writing the piece, one Gabriel Garcia Marquez, would subsequently experience a “nomadic and somewhat nostalgic exile that in certain ways also resembles a drifting raft”, before going on to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. That the original serialised newspaper story was republished in the form of a book, as a retrospective homage to Marquez’ early work, was dismissed by the author as more about an exploitation of a fashionable writer’s name, than the merits of the story. Still, I think Penguin deserves some credit for having reproduced this short work (just 106 pages) for posterity.


The Columbian navy destroyer, ‘Caldas’, had been in dock in Mobile, Alabama to undergo repairs for eight months and in February 1955 was on its homeward journey to the port of Cartagena. It should have been an unremarkable routine voyage, but when eight members of the crew were swept overboard, just hours from home, the story instantly became a national calamity. A search for survivors began immediately, but after four days the effort was abandoned and the lost sailors were declared dead. After a further week, Luis Velasco washed up on a beach in Northern Columbia, barely alive. Somehow he had managed to survive for ten days without food or fresh water, adrift on an open life raft. In essence, this book is a journalistic reconstruction of this implausible feat, derived from painstaking hours of interview, deliberately written in the first person to accentuate the emotional drama of a firsthand account. It’s certainly a gripping and compelling read. Almost as intriguing is “The Story of this Story”, written by the author in 1970 and included as a prologue, with Marquez’ reflections some fifteen years later.


What ‘El Espectador’ hadn’t foreseen was the seismic impact for the nation of such an unsuspecting hero, nor the reaction of the incumbent dictatorship. Yet, thankfully, rather like his subject, Marquez popped up later, albeit on a foreign shore. Content to vanish into obscurity, Velasco, the reader understands, remained in Columbia. By contrast, the author became a literary treasure of the world.

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review 2020-03-30 15:35
Colourful but complex
Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez 2014) - Gabriel García Márquez

A difficult book to read. A book filled with so much imagery, overloaded with detailed descriptive prose. The setting is most probably (as it is never stated) a town in Columbia in the North Western corner of South America. The time the last few years of the 19th century and the start of the 20th.  The main participants are Doctor Juvenal Urbino, his wife Fermina Daza, and her admirer Florentino Ariza.


At its heart LITTofC is a love story and no matter how long that love takes to blossom, and whatever the obstacles, true love will always win through. But this is more than that…It is about honour, family loyalty, and above all belief, against a background of a colourful city, steamy and sleepy streets, rat infested sewers, old slave quarter, decaying colonial architecture and complex multifarious inhabitants. If a central character were to be chosen it would undoubtedly be Florentino Arizo. A successful business man, head of his own riverboat company, and always available to him a willing selection of attractive women knocking at his door. However his treatment of lovers did not always reflect a man of honour in particular mention should be made of America Vicuna. A child when she met Arizo, he was meant to educate and comfort her, instead he used his position as guardian to abuse with tragic unforgettable consequences.


I particularly enjoyed the closing chapters which to me was really a study of ageing, the approach of infirmities and the vital need for companionship and love even in the autumn and winter of our lives….”old age began with one’s first minor fall and that death comes with the second”……”After a long while Florentino Ariza looked at Fermina Daza by the light of the river. She seemed ghostly, her sculptured profile softened by a tenuous blue light”…”It was a meditation on life, love, old age, death: ideas that had often fluttered around her head like nocturnal birds but dissolved into a trickle of feathers when she tried to catch hold of them”……

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review 2019-09-05 15:51
No One Writes to the Colonel - Gabriel García Márquez

C'était un homme de petite taille, volumineux mais aux chairs flasques, avec une tristesse de crapaud dans les yeux.

Au bureau de poste, il alla droit vers l'employé.
- J'attends un pli urgent, dit-il. Par avion.
L'employé chercha dans les casiers étiquetés. Quand il eut fini de déchiffrer les adresses, il replaça les lettres dans leurs casiers respectifs, sans mot dire. Il se frotta les paumes des mains en décochant au colonel un regard significatif.
- Elle devait arriver sans faute aujourd'hui, dit le colonel.
L'employé haussa les épaules.
- La seule chose qui arrive sans faute, colonel, c'est la mort.

- Je t'ai réchauffé la soupe quatre fois, dit la femme.
- Si tu veux, tu peux la réchauffer dix fois, dit don Sabas. Mais pour le moment, ne m'échauffe pas la bile.

- Et vous, docteur, comment allez-vous?
Le médecin haussa les épaules.
- Comme ci, comme ça, dit-il. Je crois que j'ai besoin d'un médecin.

- Tu ne dos toujours pas, dit la femme.
- Non.
Elle réfléchit un moment.
- On ne peut pas se permettre ça, dans notre situation, dit-elle. Pense un peu à ce que ça représente, quatre cents pesos.
- La pension va bientôt arriver, dit le colonel.
- Tu dis la même chose depuis quinze ans.
- C'est pour ça, dit le colonel. Elle ne peut plus tarder bien longtemps.

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