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Gabriel García Márquez: A Life

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  741 ratings  ·  64 reviews
In this exhaustive and enlightening biography—nearly two decades in the making—Gerald Martin dexterously traces the life and times of one of the twentieth century’s greatest literary titans, Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel García Márquez.

Martin chronicles the particulars of an extraordinary life, from his upbringing in backwater Columbia and early journalism career, to the publ
Paperback, 688 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Vintage (first published 2008)
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سيرة غابرييل غارسيا ماركيز

أشمل ما كتب عن ماركيز، وصف ماركيز كاتبها (جيرالد مارتن) بأنه كاتب سيرته الرسمي، وقد أمضى المؤلف 17 عاماً وهو يعمل على هذا الكتاب، وقرأ كل ما كتبه ماركيز، ليس كتبه فقط، بل وحتى مقالاته التي نشرها خلال عمله الصحفي الطويل، هذا غير مئات المقابلات مع العشرات ممن عرفوا ماركيز وعايشوه منذ الطفولة.

يظن الكثيرون أن كتاب ماركيز (عشت لأروي) يغني، بما أنه سيرة ماركيز بقلمه، ولكنهم مخطئون تماماً، لأن ذلك الكتاب ليس إلا سيرة طفولة وشباب ماركيز فقط، أي منذ ولادته وحتى سنة 1950 م، بين
خمس نجمات لا تكفي !

حينما راود الدكتور مارتن هاجس الكتابة عن ماركيز حذره الكثير أن غابرييل أو غابو أو غابيتو - و الاسم الحاف يدعوه به صديقه الدكتاتور فيدل كاسترو بينما يدعوه الأصدقاء بغابو و غابيتو - سوف لن يبدي الكثير من الترحيب و قد حدث ذلك عندما أجاب ماركيز متسائلاً هل لائمت السيرة الذاتية سوى الموتى ؟ أخبره بعد ذلك أنه لن يعترض طريقه و في نفس الوقت سوف لن يساعده في كتابة سيرته ! و هذا ما جعل للسيرة ثمناً باهظاً قوامه 17 سنة من عمر الكاتب و الذي لم يأبه بذلك الثمن حين قال : ليس من الخطأ أن يصر
Amazing, just amazing. Gerald Martin kept me reading, barely able to put this book down. I must, however, warn that this remarkable book is probably aimed for a couple of special audiences: First,the readers who are big fans of Garcia Marquez and who have read many of his works. I am one of those. I was intrigued by the many insights that Martin gave into the writings of this Nobel prize-winning author, and the experiences that led him to writing his magical realism stories. Second, the readers ...more
Gerald Martin has taken on an outsized task in this book which defines Gabriel Garcia Marquez's long and complex life and his resulting outlook. It is obviously a labor of love, spanning almost 20 years.

The work is chronological, tracking his life and its synergistic 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 long
Не бих казала, че всичко в книгата ми хареса - има твърде много места, които би трябвало да се изчистят - прекалено е населена с имена, факти и подробности, от които човек се обърква и не винаги са му нужни. Но има и неща в нея, които те карат да си направиш ценни изводи и да научиш интересни неща.

Проблема на повечето биографии (според мен) е, че са писани сякаш от хора живели до въпросната личност - сякаш са били в съседния двор или в кооперацията отсреща и са слухтели и воайорствали през целия
Soy de los que leyeron "Vivir para contarla" en busca de alguna especie de autobiografía, ese delicioso género lleno de anécdotas mentirosas. Quizá estaba mal informada, pero el mamotreto sólo me llevo por los primeros años de GGM como periodista y por historias que en sus libros de "ficción" sonaban mucho mejor (p.ej., la del romance de sus padres en "El amor en los tiempos del cólera").

Pero este libro de Gerald Martin dio revancha: 700 y pico de páginas que leí de un tirón, repasando la carrer
Laura Finazzo
Recently I embarked on a daunting and arduous task: completing Gerald Martin’s biography of Colombian writer Gabriel “Gabo” Garcia Marquez. For Martin this was the work of a lifetime, quite literally; the biographer devoted 17 years to this passion project, conducting research and intensive interviews with over 300 individuals all in Spanish (though the book was first published in English).

While I never thought I could complete such an exhaustive study of one single, though undeniably worthy, in
Kent Winward
The best part of this biography was placing Marquez's work into the context of history. I started reading the biography when I grew frustrated with One Hundred Years of Solitude. I had enjoyed Love in the Time of Cholera and No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories, but the reason for the raves for Solitude eluded me. In my North American arrogance, Latin America has always existed outside most of my own political concerns. The book also proved to provide a nice biography of Latin America ...more
Oct 24, 2010 Abby marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
His book, Love in the Time of Cholera, perhaps, the most moving romance book I have ever read. So utterly passionate, over a length of a lifetime...can't wait to read this to know more of the writer who's able to pen a book of such, almost unbelievable, depths of a love. (Anyone else want to vomit after reading that preview of mine?)
Odai Alsaeed
كنت قد قضيت فترة غير قصيرة في قراءة هذه السيرة فمن بحث فيها وسردها قضآ عمرا طويلا حتى يخرج بهذا الكتاب ولسيرة العظماء عبق وسحر لا يمكن أن يوصف فمابال من يتحدث عن أعظم روائي في التاريخ...كتاب رائع وطبعة فاخرة تستحق الاقتناء
Andre Dumitru
The best biography I`ve ever read, surrounding a precious person who will always fascinate me with more than his magic realism. The book definitely convinced me that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a genius.
Excellent only an english writer could have done such massive work!!
It is so rare for a writer to achieve fame and a public life while living that we tend to imagine that those who do are something other than writers. Hemingway, for example, has his place in the collective imagination for his sporting manly 'feats', Fitzgerald for his alcoholic death, Camus for his glamour and car crash, Faulkner for his desire to run away from the limelight… The case of Gabriel García Márquez is so special and unprecedented that we almost forget just how famous he became and ho ...more
Heidi Garrett
Dec 21, 2012 Heidi Garrett rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Die-hard Gabo Fans
Shelves: author-biography
I used to read a lot of author biographies just because I loved to learn about the life experience that influenced a writer's work. I have not read a biography in a really long time. I am giving this five stars because it is exhaustive. It is so exhaustive, that I am about 100 pages shy of finishing it (it's 544 pages total), but I borrowed it from my local library and have run out of renewals. I am on page 432. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has just won the Nobel Prize for literature. I intend to chec ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Critics agreed that Gerald Martin excels at everything a literary biographer needs to do. He searches for the origins of the author's style without becoming overly erudite or psychological, and offers "consistently first-rate readings" of his works (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Martin also places the great Latin American novelist in the context of world literature. But while some reviewers felt that if "Martin has left any stone unturned it's hard to imagine what that might be" (Christian Scienc

Christianne Hedtke
Started out really strong, his childhood filled with the magic realism and magical style of writing one would hope for in a bio of Gabo, but by the time Gabo gets famous and influential the whole thing becomes about politics. Given the tumultuous political history Latin America experienced in Gabo's lifetime one would think this would be super interesting, but Martin focuses more on facts and less on context and character, making it impossible to keep the supporting characters in his life straig ...more
Actually, I have not read the book, but I read a book review of it in a recent Nation magazine and am intrigued. I could not understand a lot of the review because many literary allusions went right over my head, but I did understand from the review how monumental a place Garcia Marquez holds in world literature. So for that reason I want to learn to appreciate his work, and because Esther and Fran have both read him, have spent time in Spanish speaking countries and understand magic realism bet ...more
Jesus Cruz
extraño para ser escrito por un anglo, pero la verdad es que es un gran libro, muy técnico en muchas críticas, preciso, divertido y hasta acusativo (al final García Marquez acepta que es su biógrafo y lo acusa de que lo maltrataba! ja!), finalmente me ayudó a saber y entender el transfondo histórico de las novelas y la vida del escrito, me tarde porque conforme ibamos abordando la vida, ibamos leyendo los libros y habrá que decir que fue una vida que se tornó en una gran historia y ya muestro un ...more
Aziz Zabidi
Saya tdak pernah membaca sebuah biography selengkap ini. Penelitian mendalam terhadap hampir semua sapek kehidupan GGM membuatkan bukan sahaja saya mengenal GGM seperti seorang sahabat lama malah perincian terhadap latar belakang serta peristiwa-peristiwa yang membentuk dan mengiringi perjalanan kepengarangan beliau juga membuatkan horizon pengetahuan saya terhadap sejarah dan politik Amerika Selatan sedikit meluas.
Dengan segala warna-warni yang mengiringi usia kepengarangan tokoh sastera dunia
Une biographie excellente, très complète, qui va bien au-delà de la biographie 'officielle' qu'on pouvait attendre, notamment sur la vie parisienne de Gabo.
Un must-read pour tous ceux qui s'intéressent au travail de Garcia Marquez.
Kate Austin
Gerald Martin has done a wonderful job of chronicling the life of such an interesting, intense, and complicated man. Martin's style - rich, vivid, meticulous - really does justice to the Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose writing style was uniquely defined by his own use of magical realism. Martin helps us to understand the mysterious man (who is disinclined to give interviews) who can take credit as probably the best writer to have ever emerged from Latin America.

According to Martin, this 688 page
Pablo Torres Corpus
Gabriel García Márquez, Una Vida.
Autor, Gerald Martín; editorial Debate.

Una biografía más del Gabo es de entrada poco atractiva, después de una auto y tantas externas.

Aún así Martín publicó un libro interesante sobre todo en su primera sección que aporta nuevos datos familiares, de su infancia y una exhaustiva revisión de Colombia de 1899- 1955. Igual ocurre en la segunda con las “novedades” expuestas de García Márquez en Europa y su matrimonio. La tercera parte esta porque tenía que cerrar el
Ali Hadi
A life changing book containing words of great wisdom and first hand experience of a wildly lived life.
For the past two weeks I have been slowly making my way through Gabriel García Márquez: A Life, by Gerald Martin. It’s a hefty book of almost 700 pages, and extremely detailed, as one might expect. As a fan of García Márquez’s work, I knew I had to read it even if it killed me. Although it was an effort, I’m glad that I at least got through it on a superficial level. Now I’ll have to go back and read his works to see if I can figure out which parts of his life influenced the plot lines! That’s a ...more
Diana Luque
Amazing story of Gabo's early years.
Après 17 ans d'enquêtes, d'entrevues et de rédaction, Gerald Martin a publié cette somme sur bien plus que la vie de Gabriel Garcia Marquez. J'ignorais presque tout des jeux de pouvoir et de la politique Sud Américaine. Le militantisme de Garcia Marquez m'a permis de comprendre le mouvement révolutionnaire, les mouvements de résistance ou de soumission à la super puissance états-uniennes et à travers ce prisme, le véritable discours de Marquez dans ses oeuvres de fiction. Un pavé très bien docum ...more
Pmalcpoet Pat Malcolm
Martin's biography is fully researched and meticulously documented, but I would have preferred if he had brought his subject more to life. Quotes from some of Garcia Marqez's contemporaries and friends are of interest, but the book is altogether too slow and pedantic. Garcia Marquez at Martin's hands feels like history, not like the watchful, perverse, humorous personality that brought diverse cultures to life under his pen. A nice reference for a serious student of literature, not much to offer ...more
A well-written book, although I read it in French translation. Certainly a complete account of Garcia Marquez's life and writing. What I found the most interesting was that much of GGM's writing was based on true events and people, even though it so often seems fantastical or magical.
However, I feel that it's often better to read the novels than the author's biography. Like other writers whose biographies I have read, (Bruce Chatwin comes to mind), GGM doesn't seem to be a very nice man.
The official biography of Gabito is quite engaging. The book reveals not just the writerly life of Gabo but also the political and journalistic lives. The book will serve as a literary guide to all the works of GMM. The writing is clear and neatly structured.
Apr 13, 2010 Nathan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fidel Castro
It's interesting that it took me several weeks to fully immerse myself in this book, but like Marquez, the story of his life was equally as intriguing as his novels. I couldn't wait to read the next chapter, and so on and so forth until I had completed the entire biography. It paints the picture just as I saw the man in my mind, which is precisely what one wants to hear from one of their literary heroes.
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