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109 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good place for anyone interested in Marquez to start., May 13, 2000
This review is from: Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Mass Market Paperback)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the most genuinely artistic of 20th century authors. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" was the first of his books that I read and while I loved the story there were times when the sheer size, scope and density of that work was very intimidating. It wasn't until my second reading that I was able to fully digest the power of the book and appreciate the consumate artistry it embodied. For those who want a little bit of a lighter introduction to Marquez, "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" is a good place to look.
The story is deceptively simple: A young girl in a South American village (a setting almost all Marquez's works share) is married and it is found that she has already lost her virginity. Her brothers are then bound by honor to kill the man responsible, an act they have no interest in doing but do nonetheless because no one will stop them. I am giving nothing away here, all the details of the story are revealed in the first few pages. What elevates this simple story to the grand level of all Marquez works is the brilliant structure and execution. Marquez succeeds, as always, in putting a fresh spin on a timeless plot.
Marquez gives us the events leading up to the murder from several different angles and with each different angle a new wrinkle in the fabric of the story unfolds. What we learn is that there scarcely a person in the whole town who could not have helped rescue the victim from his early end. The killers did not hide their mission, on the contrary they announced it to whoever crossed their path and delayed the doing of the deed until they could not wait any longer. It is this fact which sticks with the reader of the book long after he has finished reading and Marquez explores the question of responsibility at length.
I recommend that "Chronicle of Death Foretold" be read as an intro to Marquez and if you like it then move on to the more imposing works like "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Autumn of the Patriarch". For those Marquez fans who have not "Chronicle of Death Foretold" yet, I encourage them to do so right away. It easily hold up to his best material, even within its smaller framework.
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