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No One Writes to the Colonel: and Other Stories (Perennial Classics) Paperback – February 1, 2005
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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''[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 1927 in the town of Aracataca, Columbia.Latin America's preeminent man of letters, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. García Márquez began his writing career as a journalist and is the author of numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novels The Autumn of the Patriarch and Love in the Time of Cholera, and the autobiography Living to Tell the Tale. There has been resounding acclaim for his life's work since he passed away in April 2014.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
In No One Writes to the Colonel, a retired officer and his asthmatic wife wait for years in poverty for the Colonel's promised pension. As they near starvation, the only thing of value left to them is a fighting cock that once belonged to their now-dead son. They sell their last possessions to feed the cock while they, themselves, go hungry.
The other stories are similar depictions of people who are impoverished and powerless but not without pride and hope. In "One of These Days" the local dentist gets his revenge on behalf of the people when the town's mayor develops an abscess. In "There Are No Thieves in This Town" a desperate man with a pregnant wife tries to rob the local pool hall but comes away with nothing but three billiard balls. And in "One Day After Saturday" a strange plague of dying birds convinces the local priest that the end of the world is at hand.
With just a hint of the magical realism that would soon become his trademark, these stories would be a good introduction to the work of Gabriel García Márquez.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my first written in spanish book in a long time and I’ve had it on my bookshelf for a few years now never really having time or desire to pick it up, but thanks to... Read morePublished 27 days ago by BookWorm221
These stories open slowly like flowers and stay with you like dreams. A wonderful experience.Published 2 months ago by Monica Way
Excellent short stories - highly entertaining.......unique Latin characters who enrich simple cultural settings. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Christopher Coker