Chronicle of a death foretold by Gabriel Garcia marquez

Chronicle of a death foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Columbian fiction

Original title Crónica de una muerte anunciada

translator – Gregory Rabassa

source – personnel copy


When you’re sad and when you’re lonely
And you haven’t got a friend
Just remember that death is not the end

And all that you held sacred
Falls down and does not mend
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end

When you’re standing on the crossroads
That you cannot comprehend
Just remember that death is not the end

Nick cave version of death is not the end rather apt as death is not the end or the beginning of this book .

Well this is the last but one  of  the Marquez books I read back in July for marquez reading week .I choose this book for the week as it out of all of Marquez’s works of fiction , because it seemed to mix both his fiction and his journalistic style of writing as it recounts a murder in Small town of Santiago Nasar  .

Nor did Santiago nasar recognize the omen .He had sleep little and poorly , without getting undressed,and he woke up with a headache and a sediment of copper stirrup on his palate ,and he interpeted them as the natural havoc of wedding revels that had gone on until after midnight .

The morning after and in a way the morning before so to speak .


The chronicle of a death foretold as I said above is different in some ways to his other fiction as it is told in a more formal journalistic style of writing ,the story is of the killing of Santiago nasar , whom runs a successful ranch ,which he had inheirted father and still lives there with his mother and their servants ,we meet him on the day his is going to die .On this day as well a wedding is taking place the wedding of Angela Vicario ,she is due to marry a man who has come to find a bride ,find a virgin bride indeed ,so when after the wedding hew finds his new bride has already been with a man ,she is returned to her family and her brothers try to find out how has been with their sister …. Any way Angela who wasn’t in love with the man she was due marry at the time but had fallen for him during that day ,she wrote to the man Bayardo san Roman everyday for the following seventeen years at which point he returns with all these letters but he hasn’t ever open one ,of course in true Marquez style the book ends with the actual killing .Meanwhile her two brothers have had to leave town .

Bayardo San roman , the man who had given back his bride , had come for the first time in August of the year before : six months before the wedding .He arrived on the weekly boat with some saddlebags decorated with silver that matched the buckle of his belt and the rings of his boots .He was was around thrity years old

Bayardo arrived looking for a bride .


Well I said that this wasn’t like his other books when I choose it but actually after I had read it I  found many traits in this story that we have seen in his other books , families and honour are a recurring theme in his books from 100 years of solitude onwards .Lost love and longing for a former lover well enough said I think this has been in most of Marquez;s fiction Angela’s longing is maybe different as it is a women longing a man where as in most of the other books it is a man longing for the women .Then there is part of this book that harks to his other career as a journalist in the way the killing is recounted ,it has a crime report feel at times to it .Then we have the way the story is told in a non linear style that i have encountered in other books by Marquez where the story is a Rubik’s cube you don’t fully see the story till you make the last move the same is true of this book you don’t fully get this till the last pages .

have you read this Marquez ?

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. My Book Strings
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 00:54:47

    I love that Nick Cave song you quote at the beginning! I need to dig out my CD and listen to it again. I vaguely remember reading the book several years ago. I liked the way the story unraveled in the book; like you say, it’s like a Rubik’s Cube. It might be time for a reread…


  2. Lisa Hill
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 00:58:17

    I’m not a fan of Marquez, because when I read the two famous ones a long time ago, I found his preoccupation on ‘family honour’ seemed to justify or accept the dreadful things that happen to women while all the while men were having their wicked way with very young girls. Although I can’t remember which book it was, I have a memory of a very young girl whose pimp was an older woman (her grandmother?) being made to service multiple men each hour. Now that I’m a more experienced reader I’m not so sure that justification or acceptance was his intention, and maybe I should read him again. What do you think? Did I get it wrong? Was he writing to *expose* these ways of treating women and girls?


  3. whisperinggums
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 03:24:19

    I adored this book Stu, largely because of the way it is told – I found the tone mesmerising, and I loved how he “reports” on the different “witnesses” to what went on that day.

    Interesting Lisa. I’ve read about 5 novels by him (including 100 years of solitude, but not The general in his labyrinth which is probably the other famous one?). I don’t ever recollect feeling he was misogynistic though maybe he was reflecting some of the cultural attitudes? The main writer whom I’ve had “mysogynistic” troubles with is Milan Kundera, particularly in the first of his I read. I don’t think Marquez would have been condoning such treatment of women. My recollection is of strong, proud women but my memory is vague. It would be great to know which book you are talking about.


  4. Lisa Hill
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 06:48:32


    • whisperinggums
      Sep 29, 2014 @ 12:50:03

      Thanks Lisa. I’ve checked my records and I read Love in the time of cholera in 1997! No wonder I can’t remember detail. Back then I was making notes in a diary which I don’t have the energy to go look for now. I did find a sentence or two I wrote about it in a letter to my American friend but that doesn’t say much more than that I liked the book. I can’t imagine I would have liked it it I felt Marquez was condoning such behaviour, so my sense is that I thought he was criticising thoughtless, self-serving male libido – but that’s about all I can say now from this distance. (Oh the problem of having book notes all over the place!!).


      • Lisa Hill
        Sep 30, 2014 @ 01:30:45

        I was in an online bookgroup once where someone had been keeping a reading journal since she was 12. Imagine!

      • whisperinggums
        Sep 30, 2014 @ 02:51:13

        Wow! Wish I had. Records of my reading life are very scattered — the best go back to the late 1980s with a diary I kept probably for 10 years but it was a reading diary per se so while I mentioned books I was reading I didn’t necessary sum them all up in any way. My Filemaker pro list goes back to 1998 but it has only a one line description/summation. I’ve written weekly snail mail letters to my Californian friend since 1994 and often comment on books there! Oh dear, it is a mess. Thank goodness for the blog since 2009!

  5. jacquiwine
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 07:53:51

    I read this one a year or so ago and enjoyed it very much, more so than the Marquez novels I’ve read, and that’s possibly down to the more journalistic style of the novella.


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September 2014


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