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News of a Kidnapping (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Paperback – June 1, 1998
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Escobar and his colleagues tried to a cut a deal with the government. Then Escobar decided that a little extralegal pressure--i.e., terrorism--could do no harm. In short order he had 10 prominent Colombians kidnapped; most were journalists, and all had professional or personal ties to the pro-extradition movement. Ultimately two of the hostages were shot. The remaining eight were released in a trickle, as the drug traffickers began to break ranks and surrender. So ended at least one episode in what Gabriel García Márquez calls "the biblical holocaust that has been consuming Colombia for more than twenty years."
García Márquez was originally invited to write about the kidnapping by Maruja Pachon, who spent six months in captivity. As he began to write, however, he realized that her story was inseparable from that of the other nine victims. The result is a meticulous, sobering, and suspenseful book. It is, of course, a work of reportage, which puts a lid on the author's penchant for magic realism. But in the hands of a writer like García Márquez, truth makes fiction look paltry indeed. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez is best known for his beautiful classic novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude". "News of a Kidnapping" is very different from the other novels I have read of García Márquez, but still very interesting and well written. If one were not familiar with the kidnappings that have occurred in Columbia, one might just believe this was just another brilliant novel by Garcia Márquez.
"News of a kidnapping" is a true-life story of one of the evils of Colombia and Latin America. García Márquez writes about the kidnappings of Colombian journalists, and other well-known persons or their relatives, ten in total. "News of a kidnapping" is the story of how these people lived during their endless months in captivity. While held hostages they were not tortured nor abused, but just being away from their families and loved ones for many months and the lack of news from the outside world wore them out. The emotional suffering was made even worse by the attitudes of their abductors. One moment they could be very nice to them, and in the next moment they could be behaving like wild animals. Parallel to the memoirs of the imprisoned journalists, we follow their families and their anxiety; and the fight to have the ones kidnapped set free.
In Colombia people live in constant fear of being the next victim of kidnapping, or maybe even worse, that their loved ones will be.Read more ›
With his journalistic background, Marquez adeptly tells the story of a number of well-connected families with strong political ties to the Columbian government's regime whose members had been kidnapped during the war between Escobar's "Extraditables" and the government's security forces. In great detail Marquez portrays the plight of the kidnappers, the victims, the politicians, the common people, and the media - and enjoins the reader to understand that during this time in Columbian history the whole nation was imprisoned by a consciousness of fear and unpredictability which is hard to comprehend for those of us who have been blessed to live in a more peaceful moment of history.
Interestingly, the book has recently gained attention in the international media after Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mussavi, who had been placed under house arrest for the past six months by the current Iranian regime, stated, "If you want to understand my situation, read [Marquez's] News of a Kidnapping." Since this public announcement, the book has become one of the best-selling in Iran's recent history. And this is not just because the book delivers a powerful portrait of forced captivity such as that which is likely endured by Mussavi; but there's a wealth of much wider political messages that permeate this eloquent work of historical significance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story was well written and translated. It was so interesting to read about the kidnappings from the perspective of those who lived through the unfortunate eventsPublished 2 months ago by cenna skulsky
i little slow and probably would be really interesting if you knew what else was going on at the time.Published 6 months ago by mark a turik
The kidnappings and protracted negotiations around Escobar's surrender are brilliantly told. An amazing story that I'm amazed I didn't know about before reading the book.Published 6 months ago by D. Welt
I had to buy this book for a Latin American Studies class. I was really surprised how good the book was. It was hard to put down. Excellent book.Published 15 months ago by Mike Dobias