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Collected Novellas (Perennial Classics) Paperback – January 8, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

All three of these psychologically provocative novellas by 1982 Nobel Laureate Garcia Marquez involve the turmoil of violent death in small, lethargic Colombian villages. "Leaf Storm," like Antigone, poses a conflict over burial. The colonel is set on honoring the local doctor with a burial despite the wishes of the townspeople, who hate him because he refused to treat the wounded after an outburst of political violence. In "No One Writes to the Colonel," another colonel waits as if for Godot for a pension check from the government that never comes. Is his faith in the future all that matters--or is it irresponsible? "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" concerns the murder of a man for allegedly making love to a woman who on her wedding night to another is unable to prove her virginity. The tension stems from why no one, including the local priest, tries to stop the murder when everyone knows just how it will happen. Highly recommended.
- Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Garcia Marquez has extraordinary strength and firmness of imagination and writes with the calmness of a man who knows exactly what wonders hecan perform." -- Alfred Kazin, "New York Times Book Review""Every scene, every gesture sings life and denies death...He is an absolute master."-- "New York Times""It is the genius of Garcia Marquez that fatalism and possibility somehow coexist, that dreams redeem, that there is laughter even in death."-- Jonathan Leonard, "New York Times"
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Product Details

  • Series: Perennial Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; 1st HarperPerennial ed edition (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006093266X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060932664
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The less said about 'Leaf Storm,' the better, I think. It was Garcia Marquez's first piece of long fiction, written in his twenties, and the truth is, it's not very good. Actually, it's pretty bad. It's overwritten in that 'bad Faulkner' way, and it lacks anything that would make for an interesting story--compelling characters, powerful conflicts, interesting ideas--none of these are to be found therein. It feels as if it should have received quite a bit of revision before publication. As it stands, its only real value is as an embryonic draft of One Hundred Years of Solitude.
'No One Writes to the Colonel,' on the other hand, is a truly excellent story. It's a slow, meditative piece with very little action, chronicling a month or so in the life of the title character and his wife in a stagnant Colombian town as he waits in vain for the pension, which he has been owed for fifteen years, to arrive in the mail. Although it's a subdued story saturated with sorrow and regret, it also features a strong undercurrent of hope which cannot be extinguished. The Colonel is an inspiring character, and, after One Hundred Years of Solitude, his story is my favorite thing I've read by Garcia Marquez. Apparently there's been a movie made of it, but I have no desire to see it.
'Chronicle of a Death Foretold' is also very good. It tells of the events surrounding and leading up to a brutal murder which ultimately implicates an entire town. Featuring the recollections of dozens of characters who were involved in the event, peripherally or seriously, it weaves a mesmerizing web of small events that all happen just the wrong way. The death is indeed 'foretold;' it could easily have been prevented by just about anyone in the story, yet somehow, no one does.
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Format: Paperback
Here between the bounds of this paperback we have 3 very good translations of short novels from the hand of Marquez...although I have yet to fully grasp "Leaf Storm", it does offer to the reader a sort of prelude to "Macondo"...although don't expect the world to be potrayed as it was in "One Hundred years of Solitude". ...the 2nd novella "No One Writes Colonel" is a great read...here is everyday life, as the colonel awaits a letter...however it is the third novella, "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" that drew me in, as a gripping page turner. Marquez holds our interest with his detailed account, even though we already know the outcome. It is a great collection and a good follow up if you have finished "One Hundred Years of Solitude". Highly recommended because in this edition you get al three works, whilst you could pay up to thrice as much if you pursued them seperately....
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The three stories all had a little something for everyone. My favorite was Chronicle Of A Death Foretold, because even though it seemed a bit silly that no one told the man he was about to die, Marquez's narrator painted such a perfect picture using a journalistic approach through interviews which gave it a stranger than fiction quality and brought it all together. The first novella Leaf Storm was a little difficult in the beginning and had this Faulkner vibe about it, but the execution left something wanting, though the very elements one can expect from Marquez were all present, just not fully developed and a little all over the place with the ever changing point of view. But the second story No One Writes To The Colonel was right on point. The setting was well developed and the colonel and his wife were a trip though quite sad the way they'd been waiting for his pension for so long, and the rooster who bore his hopes, and their son.....
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My favorite author! The first story I ever read of his was Chronicle of a Death Foretold and I have yet to read the other two in this collection. If you are new to Gabo you will not be disappointed, his stories are complex, magical, and illuminating! If you've only read his novels, take the time to read his novellas and short stories, they've stuck with me for years!
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Format: Paperback
A must-have bargain, this volume presents three of Garcia Marquez's four novellas--two written early in his career and one published after he had achieved worldwide fame. The earliest piece, "Leaf Storm" (1955) is, so to speak, a chronicle of a death scorned; it takes place during a mere half hour in the middle of the day in 1928, but it recalls the events of several decades. The story seems to echo deliberately several aspects of the plot, structure, and technique of Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying"; its stream-of-consciousness narrative alternates among three family members--a colonel, his daughter, and her young son--as they muse over what to do about a corpse. Unlike Faulkner, however, Garcia Marquez does not give the dead man--a local doctor--a voice; his life is instead recalled through the memories of the other three characters. The colonel and his family battle against those who would refuse the man a decent burial: the townspeople, because the doctor had refused to treat their wounded during the war, and the priest, who "won't let them bury in consecrated ground a man who hanged himself after having lived sixty years without God." Although the novella lacks the magic realism for which Garcia Marquez is now renowned, it nevertheless is one of his starkest (and, I feel, most powerful) efforts, anticipating many of his later themes and introducing the locales and characters who populate his more mature work.

"No One Writes to the Colonel" (published 1961, but written several years earlier) takes up anti-government themes only hinted at in "Leaf Storm" and makes them central to the story: tyrannical censorship, the insensitivity of officials, the violence of repression, corruption. A retired colonel and his wife endure two related struggles that consume his days of retirement.
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