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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 2020-04-24 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 2020-01-10 01:43
Gabriel's Inferno #4
Gabriel's Promise - Sylvain Reynard

I did something with this fourth book in the Gabriel's Inferno series that I haven't done in quite some time. I finished the book, then I sat back and stewed about it for a while. Then I stewed about it some more. I enjoyed the first three books in the series, and while it took me a bit in the first book to warm up to the contrariness that is Gabriel, warm up, I did, and I liked this couple together. Julia has this way of giving in to Gabriel while somehow, still getting her own way, and there is no doubt of his dedication to her. That dedication takes on a new element with Gabriel's Promise. This pair is learning to be parents, and they're both completely devoted to baby Clare. Gabriel, Julia, and Clare are just the sweetest family, and of course, we get lots of extended family as everyone gathers round to welcome the new baby, which means some catching up with favorites from the series. Of course, there's a bit of angst with some secrets between our couple, but if you're familiar with the series, and you really should be before starting this one, then a few disagreements between these two won't be enough to do them in. Instead, we get some danger by way of a mystery character, one who may or may not be from Gabriel or Julia's past. This is where I ran into problems, and it's what brought about my stewing. What it boils down to is that the conclusion for this book is kind of open-ended, and it feels a little unfinished to me. Now, I don't know if there are plans for another book in the series. Honestly, I expected this to be the finale for this couple, but now, I'm not so sure. If there is another book in the works, the unfinished ending along with unanswered questions would make sense because the series has been a continuing story. But, if this is the last book, I feel like the author took the easy way out with the suspense angle here. I really expected so much more, especially after a certain big thing happened. It really had great potential, but it ended up being a little like a secondary storyline just to have the mystery included, and it starts to fizzle after that above mentioned big event. To sum it up, I loved getting to revisit this couple, but I wasn't sold on the suspense, especially with how it was left. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-09-15 21:48
Book Review: Teen Titans Raven kami Garcia
Teen Titans: Raven - Kami Garcia,Gabriel Picolo

September 15

When a tragic accident takes the life of 17-year-old Raven Roth's foster mom--and Raven's memory--she moves to New Orleans to recover and finish her senior year of high school.

Starting over isn't easy. Raven remembers everyday stuff like how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can't remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. And when impossible things start happening, Raven begins to think it might even be better not to know who she was before.

But as she grows closer to her new friends, her foster sister, Max, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she's ready to face what's buried in the past...and the darkness building inside her.


Review : I really loved this story. Tragedy happens when she loses her foster mom and her memory and she is now living with her foster mom's sister and her daughter Max . Strange things start happening to Raven she starts hearing a voice . She starts getting close to this guy named Tommy but is there something up with him . On the night of the prom the voice comes out which is her father who is a Demon she's half Demon and Tommy is working with these people who recruit people with powers. Raven doesn't really trust him anymore .Raven has decided to look for this guy name slade cause now her father is in a necklace cant wait to read the next one .

 

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