Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez | Weaving Pages: Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


To my dad's great happiness, and in my search for even more amazing, gorgeous books, I finally picked up Chronicle of a Death Foretold. And let me tell you something- it is utterly brilliant.
23878Title: Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Series: n/a
Source: Bought
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 1981
No. of Pages: 120

Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Spanish: Crónica de una muerte anunciada) is a novella by Gabriel García Márquez, published in 1981. It tells, in the form of a pseudo-journalistic reconstruction, the story of the murder of Santiago Nasar by the two Vicario brothers. -(Goodreads)
 5 stars: Page the bird salutes this book, and starts
 flying with joy.

My first thought when I began to read this was: "Everyone knows Santiago Nasar was going to die, except him." That single sentence sets the tone for the entire book; a novel filled with human curiosity just as intense as the heat that fills every scene.

Just like with the book itself, each and every character is shrouded with riddles. You know just enough to understand the story and its themes, but never enough to make you satisfied at that moment. There is always something more to learn, and it's inevitable not to be captured by that fact. I found this to be true with Santiago Nasar, who would perhaps be considered a principle character. From the start, he is presented to the reader in a stirring manner, contrasting his behaviour with the opinions of those around him. He appears to be dearly beloved by his peers in the small town, and yet some of his actions are enough to make you doubt he is as worthy of all the adoration. There you have it: one of the first mysteries of this great story. Who is Santiago Nasar, and why was he killed? That intrigued me from the start. Though I am unsure I ever got a straight answer, once again, this is what makes this novel a work of genius; the fact you hurtle through it with a forceful sense of inevitability and the unknown which never truly ends. 

What will always truly strike me, nevertheless, is just how simple the principal of the story is. What amazes me without doubt, as a result, is the complexity Gabriel Garcia Marquez weaves into it. You do definitely have to pay attention to what you're reading, but I will say that it's not a hard feat because it never gets boring! Yet amongst this complexity, you realise that Santiago Nasar's death is not as simple as it sounds. Not only is it the crime of those who committed it, but the crime of an entire town as everyone and anyone fails to warn Santiago. At first sight, his death is easily seen as a crime of revenge and honour but over the course of the story its beautiful cyclical prose has the narrator entwine the scenes of the day together until your first questions are answered and yet you are still left with more.

Furthermore, Chronicle of a Death Foretold is written with a wonderful, vivid tone which looks back on the events and brings the whole story to life. Not only that, but it provides a valuable morale commentary on the occurrences throughout the book. The one quote that still sticks with me is:
“[Clotilde] was certain that the Vicario brothers were not as eager to carry out the sentence as to find someone who would do them the favor of stopping them.”
Does that not to you perfectly detail some of the simple needs of the human nature? That sometimes, we need someone to stop us more than anything else? For me, it's a quote that I know I won't forget easily.

Consequently, the ending does not disappoint as is strong and poignant, resounding in the reader's mind with a ghostly similarity to what you learn in the beginning.  Concluding with Santiago's death in the same place he had always begun the day was just the perfect way to end the story, with the reminder of how ordinary the entire parable seems. I can't remember the last time an ending was delivered this well. In short, you need to go read this as soon as you can.

rita xo

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