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No One Writes to the Colonel: and Other Stories (Perennial Classics) Paperback – February 1, 2005


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No One Writes to the Colonel: and Other Stories (Perennial Classics) + One Hundred Years of Solitude (P.S.) + Love in the Time of Cholera (Oprah's Book Club)
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Product Details

  • Series: Perennial Classics
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reissue edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060751576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060751579
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''A rare combination of grace and vibrancy. Every scene, every gesture, signs life and denies death . . . He is an absolute master.'' --New York Times

''[These stories] are told in spare, unpretentious, but picturesque prose, compassionate of human frailty but also rich in wit and irony. The characters are all too human, alternately humorous and tragic.'' --Library Journal

''Garcia Marquez' style is direct and matter-of-fact; in attitude, he accepts these characters with the same inevitability as they accept the heat and the rain.'' --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

''García Márquez creates an absolute jewel of a novella in No One Writes to the Colonel, a story that evokes the entire range of human emotions from misplaced hope to blackest cynicism.'' --Oprah.com --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Gabriel García Márquez was born in Colombia in 1927. His many books include The Autumn of the Patriarch; No One Writes to the Colonel; Love in the Time of Cholera; a memoir, Living to Tell the Tale; and, most recently, a novel, Memories of My Melancholy Whores. Gabriel García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.


More About the Author

Gabriel García Márquez (1927 - 2014) was born in Colombia and was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. His many works include The Autumn of the Patriarch; No One Writes to the Colonel; Love in the Time of Cholera and Memories of My Melancholy Whores; and a memoir, Living to Tell the Tale. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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The condition was fine, the cover good and the pages untorn.
Kevin Ross Watson
Marquez has done it again, to weave a story of pathos and vividness which, even a gifted painter would find it difficult to portray.
subrat
The story flows and is one of those books difficult to stop reading.
Alice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By subrat on October 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
Marquez has done it again, to weave a story of pathos and vividness which, even a gifted painter would find it difficult to portray. Set in a small Mexican town, the world of the Colonel and his wife along with the memories of his lost son and his parting rooster, become a symbol of defiance, a triumph of human spirit amidst the ruin and the debris that has come to haunt the Colonel in all possible forms.A pension that never comes, an asthma of his wife that never cures and a life that does not have enough food, confront the world of the exploiter.The memories of the Colonel's dead son and his rooster become the living example of bravery which may have deserted many hardened Colonels. This bravery unfolds itself as the Colonel defies everything in life, even the approaching depriviation and death, as the Col. zealously protects his honours and values. The sale of his rooster, possibly his only option for continuance of his life, is heroically opposed, despite a clear possibility of stark and naked death knocking at his door. In thus defying death the Col.has sought to immortalize his life and possibly all that life stands for - hope.
A million such examples abound. What is brilliant is that the pathos of a lonely life, devastated by a crumbling world, and the undaunting spirit of a man fighting against everything from insensitivity to disease has been so movingly portrayed in the novella. Beneath this brilliant portrayal of human pathos lies a subtext that is deeply political and social. Politics of the country and its victims are most tellingly described through the Col. and his travails. Marquez is a writer who is a dreamer and an activist too. In his Col.who is both the hero and the anti-hero, Marquez has punched politics and sufferings in a brilliantly conceived character and has invested him with a realism that transcends nations and nationalities and speaks a language which is moving and absorbing.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Damian Kelleher on January 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
This story, about an old, sad Colonel who spends his time waiting for a pension that, deep down, he knows he will never receive, is simply heart-breaking. Every paragraph is laced with sadness - sadness that his circumstances are how they are and sadness that it won't ever really change, not even in the promised January when the rooster will finally pay off for him and his wife and they can finally put the memory of their dead son behind them.
It was a short story, only ~60 pages long, so I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read something quickly. It is rather depressing, probably made more so by the fact that the Colonel is a dignified man and that he knows that the misfortunes of his life are not his fault at all. Unfortunately, even at the end, there isn't any real hope. It does end with a great last line, but there is no retribution, no deliverance, no satisfaction to be had for the Colonel and his wife. I think that if Marquez had solved all of the Colonel's problems, it would have been a weaker story, so I'm not too upset about that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By An admirer of Saul on July 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
A set of short semi linked stories set in and around the wonderful Latin American Kingdom Maquez created in '100 Years of Solitude' including the novella of the Colonel, who fought in the revolution and has been betrayed;relying on a Cock to win him some money to keep starvation at bay.
This is a superb collection, each tale in some way telling of the futile revolutions that never end up benefiting the people; the stiffling bureaucracy, the corruption, nepotism and autocracy of Latin American politics and life in a small town.
Stand out stories ; 'There are no Thieves in this Town' where a pointless theft of the billiard balls from the pool hall affects the whole life of the town and reaps an innocent victim;the lyrical fable 'One Day After Saturday' and 'Montiels Widow'; a Town changes when the local tyrant dies...
But the whole book is superb. Garcia Marquez just doesn't do 'average' and reading him is a pleasure.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on September 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Although there are a few minor events in Marquez's muted novella - a funeral, a trip to the casino, the arrival of a circus, a cockfight trial - the story is more concerned with the mundane fact of the colonel's repetitive everyday existence, his domestic rituals, walks, conversations, his waiting for the official letter confirming his pension that never comes. Details about the region's political situation and history filter through gradually, and despite a shortage of exterior detail, there is some local colour - the postmaster drinking pink froth as he makes his way through harbour stalls to meet the launch; the priest who gives movie censorship details by bell-ringing, spying on the cinema to note the disobedient.
'No-one writes to the colonel' is a portrait of old age, that period when physical decay conflicts with still-alert mental pride; the dependence on others with the unreliability of family, friends or the State; increasing poverty with forlorn attempts at gentility; the dreadful trauma of outliving your children; the perhaps worse fate of seeing your ideals and efforts fail, the world constituted in someone else's image.
Your pleasure in this story will probably depend on how you take the colonel, from whose point of view it is almost entirely narrated - he has no interior life, there are no accounts of his feelings or opinions beyond what he says to others, so revelation of his character must be gleaned through movement and the things he notices. The focus on mundane objects, conversations and rituals takes on a spiritual force, but can come close to sentimentality as Marquez over-eggs the colonel's dignity; although it is just as easy to see the hero as a kind of moral monster in the way he treats his wife so that he can uphold his dubious honour.
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