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Gabriel García Márquez: A Life Paperback – August 31, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Gabriel Garcia was less than a year old when his mother left him to the care of her parents. He was too young to have had any memories of her, and so when she returns six years later, he doesn't recognize her. He is deeply perplexed when he realizes that he does not love her. He does not love her because he did not even know her. She leaves him again, quite soon.
The author has written quite admirably about Gabriel Marquez's affair with the Spanish actress Tachia Quintana and Gabriel's friendship with Fidel Castro and his empathy with liberals and leftists.
Gerald Martin writes well. He is especially good at describing the small villages and towns and banana plantations of Colombia and its rich topography. His descriptions of Colombia's natural beauty are vivid. This biography grips a reader's attention from the very beginning, and holds it to the very end: "One hot, asphyxiating morning in the early 1930s, in the tropical coastal region of northern Colombia, a young woman gazed through the window of the United Fruit Company train at the passing banana plantations. Row after row after row, shimmering from sun into shade."
Those who love Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novels will find this book quite helpful in understanding several of his puzzling obsessions. For example, the author explains why Gabriel has written almost obsessively about illegitimate children in many of his novels: his family had so many of them! This is truly a very detailed, fascinating biography, meticulously written.
The work is chronological, tracking his life and its synergic literary output. Martin shows how GGM's novels illustrate the scenes, people and tenor of his unusual youth in a politically unstable county. GGM pulls from the experience of his home region which he never really leaves despite a long departures and the purchase of foreign residences. He essentially marries the region in marrying Mercedes to whom he proposed in their adolescence. Despite their pre-marital differences in life experience, the marriage worked and still holds together after 50 years. Like the marriage, his life takes long and circuitous routes back home.
Martin takes the reader through what might be GGM's deepest thoughts as expressed through his novels and political writing. The saga covers continents and powerful international events. Over time, the early passion for socialism peels away. It is not expressed in words, but what else can be made of GGM having dictator friends who imprison and/or execute his intellectual colleagues? There is no real answer as to why he tolerates these leaders who trample on human rights, sometimes with their bank accounts full of the country's money. GGM points to the few he's used his influence to save, but the argument is weak considering the enormity of the rights violations of these leaders whom he supports.
There are many episodes that could be their own books (some have extensive treatment elsewhere as noted by Martin).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When the country of Peru is mentioned, one imagines a peaceful scene of an Andean alpaca grazing along an Incan stone wall. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Brian Ward
Mr. Martin has written the ultimate biography of the greatest writer of fiction in the past 50 years. Detailed and fun it is a pleasure to read.Published 6 months ago by Carlos R. Weissenberg
The most beautiful writing that I have ever read. His first paragraph of "Love in The Time of Cholera" is the most beautifully written passage ever.Published 6 months ago by Robin Newcombe
He was a human motivated by unresolved issues.His genius saved him (as it does with many) from a less successful life. His wife must have been a saint!Published 14 months ago by Jean
A fascinating look into the life of Gabriel and extremely well researched.Published 15 months ago by Michael J. Barlew
This book seemed to be a source to research previous articles previously written about MarquesPublished 23 months ago by Leon Harman
Written with exceptional insight into the complex mind and life of the most gifted storyteller of all time. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Antoinette D. Martin
The sense of living a life and being a part of history as it would happen to another human however seemingly impossiblePublished on July 11, 2014 by Michael E Arrowood