Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Gabriel García Márquez

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“In folio 382 of the brief, he wrote another marginal pronouncement in red ink: Fatality makes us invisible.  The fact is that Santiago Nasar went in through the main door, in full view of everyone, and without doing anything not to be seen.”

When Marquez died earlier this year, I found out right away through my social media channels.  Shortly after it was announced, my co-worker sent me an email with a link to the news about his death, figuring I would want to know.  That’s how you know you’re doing your bookworm persona right – when coworkers you barely know figure you might want to hear about the death of a literary icon.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is not my favourite.  I will be honest.  There were times I wanted to throw it against a wall.  And at book number 8, I’m starting to feel like I’m hitting a wall.  For a 120 page book, it took me longer to read than some of my 200+ books so far this Bookstravaganza.  There are so many characters and after a while I couldn’t tell the difference between Bayardo San Roman and Cristo Bedoya.  It was exhausting.

If I had more time to analyze this book, like if I wrote a paper on it and studied it in university, I could perhaps appreciate it more.  I know many compare Santiago Nasar to a Christ figure, but I think it’s more a depiction of fate – all these characters and all these random events all come together to determine a death that, by the end, the reader knows was unavoidable.  These all intersect to determine a death foretold.  Each event probably had a Biblical reference or was some great metaphor, but I was trying to speed through this book so I couldn’t appreciate it all.  I should have known that, even at 120 pages, Marquez would not be a quick read.

Give this a read, but give yourself the chance to really read it.  I plan on coming back to it sometime next year, when I revisit Marquez in anticipation of a trip to South America in 2016.

Books read: 8

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