Leaf storm by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

leaf storm by Gabriel garcia Marquez

Leaf storm by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Columbian fiction

Original title – La Hojarasca

Translator – Gregory Rabassa

Source – Personnel copy

From the memory of that house ,and using his grandmother’s narrative voice as his own Linguistic Lodestone ,Marquez began building of Macondo

Salman Rushdie from his essay collection Imaginary homelands on Marquez

Well this is the first of a number of books I intend to review by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ,we lost this giant of Spanish language and Latin American writing earlier this year ,so it seemed fitting to focus for a few days in this times Spanish lit month on his books ,plus it will give me chance to add a few more to the two I have already reviewed here .In a side not I will be carrying on a bit into August with Spanish lit month so if you Haven’t had time to read something or would maybe like to cross over with Women in tranlsation month .

I’ve seen a corpse for the first time .It’s wednesday but I feel as if it was sunday because I didn’t go to school and they dressed me up in a green corduroy suit that’s tight in some places .Holding Mama’s hand ,following my grandfather ,who feels his way along with a cane with every step so he won’t bump into things .

The opening lines the grandsons view of the doctors funeral ,I really felt the kids voice here .


SO Leaf storm is the first book I’ve choosen by Marquez because in a way ,although not his first book it is the one that is readily available Marquez did write a book before this but it isn’t readily available .This book also saw the first appearance of the Village of Macondo which appeared in a lot of his later and more famous novels .This book also has a number of characters that Marquez uses in other books ,the first and main character in the book is an old man known in the village as Colonel ,the story centers around a promise he made to the village doctor many years before the book opens as this doctor ,who as an outsider was never really trusted within the village has died and over the years also fell out with other people .So it is left to the old Colonel to bury this man .Then there is the Colonel daughter Isabel ,who is obliged to help her father bury this man .Then there is the grandson of the Colonel he views this death with the mind of a young man ,with wide-eyed interest as he hasn’t seen death much before .So whilst honour his promise we see why the doctor end up the most hated man in the village .This leads to conflict as even thou the Colonel is a respect figure in the village ,no one wants to see the Doctor honoured with a decent funeral .

Even though he hoped it would be the opposite ,he was a strange person in town ,apathetic in spite of his obvious efforts to seem sociable and cordial .He lived among the people of Macondo ,but at a distance from them because of the memory of past against which any attempt at rectification seemed useless .

It was always hard for the doctor ,but aren’t villages always this way to incomers ?

Now this is a must for any one that has read his main novels as it is the first time we get to meet the village of Macondo .But it is also less steep in the magic realism of the later books this feels more like one of the original stories that Marquez heard of course Macondo is based on the Village his own grandmother  lived , we see the infant Marquez I feel in those first lines  and the settings is his own childhood  , the stories he heard from them as a child live on in this and his other books .The Colonel is a figure that crops up again and again in his novels the old man looking back at life and facing his own death in this case through the death of his old friend the doctor .Florentino as old man in love in the time of cholera or Jose in One hundred years of solitude .The narrative style is also clearly seen here ,I always think this is Marquez true gift ,we start the story as the doctor has died then through out the book see what happened and what happens as the two lines of the story twist and turn along we see how the past lead to the present and the tough words in the opening few pages become clear .

Have you read leaf storm ?

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 17:51:00

    I’ve read no Marquez yet, but I really must – great review Stu!


  2. jacquiwine
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 18:11:34

    I’ve read a couple by Marquez (Cholera; Chronicle of a Death), but I haven’t come across this one before now. I like the way you’ve presented Leaf Storm in the context of his other books – that’s very interesting, and I hadn’t appreciated the connections between characters running through his novels.


  3. biblioglobal
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 18:12:18

    I hadn’t even heard of Leaf Storm! I might like the fact that it is lighter on magical realism.


  4. Brian Joseph
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 13:29:50

    I was so saddened by the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I love his writing.

    I have not read this. I had no idea that it contained characters and places that are contained in other books that I have read.

    I will put this one on my list.


  5. 1streading
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 17:47:11

    It’s a long time since I read any Marquez – probably my twenties (wouldn’t like to say how long ago that is!). This makes me want to go back to him, and Leaf Storm sounds like a good place to start.


  6. Tony
    Jul 25, 2014 @ 11:46:13

    Not read this one, but I’d love to give it a try 🙂


  7. Max Cairnduff
    Jul 26, 2014 @ 15:20:41

    Would you recommend reading this as a first Marquez Stu? Or is it better read once one has some of his majors under the belt?


  8. whisperinggums
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 02:16:52

    I’ve read 4 books by Marquez and have another in my TBR, but not this one. You’ve piqued my attention by saying it’s the one that introduces the village of Macondo. I’ll add it to my list. I’ve liked all his books – 100 years of solitude, Chronicle of a death foretold, Love in the time of cholera, and Of love and other demons. I particularly love Chronicle of a death foretold. It’s mesmerising in its tone.


  9. amanda
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 15:59:17

    I’ve been terrible about keeping up with the Spanish Lit month posts, but I’ve just finished reading through your posts to date, and wanted to stop and thank you not only for co-hosting Spanish Lit Month with Richard, but for introducing me to so many novels I’d not heard of. I’d not even heard of Leaf Storm, even though I’ve read several García Márquez. It’s one I’ll definitely have to add to my list, though.


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July 2014


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