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Chronicle of a Death Foretold Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 12, 1983

4.2 out of 5 stars 250 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Deckle Edge, March 12, 1983
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Editorial Reviews


“Exquisitely harrowing . . . very strange and brilliantly conceived . . .a sort of metaphysical murder mystery.”—The New York Times Book Review

“This investigation of an ancient murder takes on the quality of a hallucinatory exploration, a deep, groping search into the gathering darkness of human intentions for a truth that continually slithers away.” –The New York Review of Books

“Brilliant . . . A small masterpiece . . . we can almost see, smell and hear Garcia Marquez’s Caribbean backwater and its inhabitants.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“As pungent and memorable as a sharp spice, an examination of the nature of complicity and fate . . . an exquisite performance.” –The Christian Science Monitor

A tour de force . . . In prose that is spare yet heavy with meaning, Garcia Marquez gives us not merely a chronicle but a portrait of the town and its collective psyche . . . not merely a family but an entire culture.” –The Washington Post Book World

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish (translation)

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (March 12, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394530748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394530741
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #972,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first sentence of this harrowing, surrealistic novella concerns itself with the murder of the wealthy, twenty-one year old Santiago Nasar and every page that follows only serves to broaden and enlarge this action.
The novella, a narrative written twenty-seven years after the murder by Nasar's journalist friend, serves as a detailed history of the hours leading up to the crime. The entire population of a fictional Latin American village comprise the cast of characters and as we become privy to their actions and memories, the one certainty we learn is that everyone had a part to play in this crime.
The night before the murder, Angela Vicario had married Bayardo San Roman in a lavish and costly ceremony. However, when San Roman learns that Angela is not a virgin he returns her to her mother immediately. When pressed to name the man who stole her virginity and disgraced the family name, Angela answers, "Santiago Nasar."
Nothing points to the truthfulness of Angela's assertion, but her twin brothers, Pablo and Pedro, who are pig butchers by profession, sharpen their knives and begin their search for Nasar.
Although "there had never been a death more foretold," every one of the town's citizens has some reason, valid or not, for doing little or nothing to prevent the death of Nasar.
Even Nasar, himself, until the final moments, seems oblivious to what every other person in the town is well aware of. Amazingly, he seems to either feel himself above death or simply resigned to his fate.
The narrator of Chronicle of a Death Foretold presents many instances and situations that could have saved the life of Nasar yet failed to do so, underscoring one of Garcia Marquez's signature themes--irony.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The popular notion is that Love in the Time of Cholera may be Gabriel Garcia-Marquez's best book, and that One Hundred Years of Solitude is the one that made him famous. But what many people don't know is that Chronicle of a Death Foretold is the book that won Mr. Garcia-Marquez the Nobel Prize.
Sure, that's mostly a quirk of the calendar. But the book was Mr. Garcia-Marquez's most recent publication when the Nobel committee sat down to discuss who deserved the award for literature in 1982. And though it's hard to imagine anyone on the committee nominating the venerable Colombian as a result of this slim volume, it is easy to conclude that nothing here would make them second guess their votes either.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold has everything that makes the work of Mr. Garcia-Marquez such a joy, albeit in abbreviated form. Its pages contain great characters and names, unusual events made believable by the storyteller's skill, a mysterious storyline, a surprising complexity.
And because of its diminutive size and straightforward style, it's a great way to sample the Mr. Garcia-Marquez's work for the first time.
If you do that and enjoy the story, try News of a Kidnapping in addition to the two great novels mentioned above. The two -- News of a Kidnapping and Chronicle of a Death Foretold -- are the two novels that employ a style that harkens back to Mr. Garcia-Marquez's early days as a journalist, using interviews and investigation as a base for a fictionalized reconstruction of real events recounted with the same style that earned the author his reputation.
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