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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings (Collected Stories of Gabriel Garcia Marques)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,069 ratings  ·  67 reviews
“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” is a short story that begins with a couple, Pelayo and Elisenda, finding a very old man in their courtyard during a stormy afternoon. They watch in astonishment the enormous wings attached to the body of the old man as he struggles to get up from the mud. Their neighbour comes over and lets them know that the old man is an angel. Pelayo ...more
Published (first published 1968)
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Dhanaraj Rajan
This book was an accidental pick up from the bookshop.

It is a small booklet containing just two short stories barely covering 25 pages. The cover and the name on the cover and the price caught my attention and I went for it.

I read the stories in two sittings - one sitting per one story. And my verdict is that I loved the second story better.


The first story is title of this collection. It is a sarcastic look at the belief in miracles and the extra ordinary (supernatural) ha
I read the English version of this short story. The English translation of the title is "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" my teacher said that Latin America Literature often have long and supernatural weird titles. It's weird but interesting especially if analyzed well. I know this is "Magic Realism" but I'm putting it in my fantasy and realistic fiction shelves.

Well, the best thing about this short stories is that it doesn't appear what it seems like. When you read it, it is boring. And conf
Emir Never
The English translation of the title is "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings", which is what the story is, really. A very old man with enormous wings was found in a couple's backyard. What is he?

Everyone gravitates to the odd creature, who, everyone seemed to agree, must be an angel. Maybe Garcia Marquez meant to cast an oblique commentary on society's beliefs and curiosities, attention and inattention, and treatment of the fantastic or out of this world.

Or maybe he was just writing about a very
Ken Moten
Sep 07, 2014 Ken Moten rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: How the hell do you recommend this?
"He had to go very close to see that it was an old man, a very old man, lying face down in the mud, who, in spite of his tremendous efforts, couldn't get up, impeded by his enormous wings." - Yep, this what we work with here. My introduction to Gabriel García Márquez.

I do not like jumping on trends. I brought 100 Years of Solitude a week before GGM died and I have put off reading it because I did not want his still recent death to color my interpretation. I have now decided to read some short st
The Young Urban Unprofessional
You can also read this review on my blog: The Young Urban Unprofessional - A Series of 30 Day Life Experiments

The story was incredibly short (9 pages with large font) so I finished most of it before I even boarded my morning train to work. The story involved a couple who found a very old man with enormous wings laying on the ground in their back yard. He seemed battered, tired, and old with wings that were falling apart and filled with parasites. Not quit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heba Ashraf
_من الممكن عودة الملاك إلينا،ولكننا يجب أولا أن نقدم له الضمانات التي تشجعه على ذلك.
_وماهي هذه الضمانات؟؟
_أن نطهر قلوبنا بالحب والإيمان لا أن ندنسها بالبغض والعصيان ،وأن نقيم العدل بالميزان ولا نحكم بسيف الطغيان ،ساعتها لن نرى على الأرض ملاكا واحدا بل ستمتليء الأرض بالملائكة في كل مكان ،ولن يتسع مكان لأي شيطان ..فهل نستطيع حقا أن نقدم هذه الضمانات للملائكة من الإنسان ؟!!
(وخلف تلك الجمل السماويه يأتي صوتي المسرسرع معبرا عن نرفزتي برغم إعجابي بالكلمات ،ما
I read this for a fiction writing class, and I still think about it sometimes.
Rachel Jackson
"A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" is clearly a commentary on religion. There's no doubt about it: when you have a supposed angel falling from the sky and people revering it, you know that's a reference to fallen gods, prophets on earth, etc., etc.

And that's what the entire story is. The "very old man with enormous wings" suddenly arrives in a family's yard, and they are surprised and confused by his wings, an oddity in their town. So they put him up for show, at first for free but eventually
J. C.

Leí este libro cuando vi un estado de Patrick Rothfuss en Facebook con la noticia de que Gabriel había muerto. Esta es la clase de libro que te deja una especie de vacío cuando lo terminas. Pero no un vacío que te hace sentir que falta algo, sino uno que te hace sentir que "todo está hablado y no hay nada más que decir". Pone en contraste la naturaleza del hombre y la naturaleza de un ángel. La gente sorprendida por este fenómeno sobrenatural que había arribado a la tierra se aglomerab
I devoured Memories of my Melancholy Whores when it came out, even then, I was not expecting more from one of my favourite authors, so when I saw A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings in Foyle’s I didn’t hesitate picking it up. I did pause however when I realised it was extremely thin, containing the title story and The Sea of Lost Time. So long has been the time since I read his books, that while writing this review I realised that I had read both of these before, and in fact owned them already, i ...more
Joana Guerra
Uma história bem ao estilo de García Márquez, onde um anjo velho e cansado com umas asas enormes dá a costa, quase morto, ou nem morto nem vivo, um ser celestial que é visto pela população de todos os ângulos como se trata-se de uma aberração, o centro das atenções para todos admirarem quão pouco celestial pode ser, afinal era um anjo, mas era diferente... Uma metáfora à nossa sociedade, sem dúvida, à Natureza humana, que tendo encontrado um anjo caído, o usa para fazer algum dinheiro e mantê-lo ...more
2.5 Stars out of 5 Stars

Was it an angel or a deformed science oddity that landing on their property that one night? What would you do if you returned to your property to find a winged, old man lying with his last inch of life?

This story follows a family and the changes that came when an angel landed near their home. I found this to be entertaining enough of a story, but I felt that somethings were oddly developed and others were underdeveloped. I do, however, still feel compassion and sympathy
Martita Flores
"A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" demonstrates Marquez's ability to tell a fairy tale or folk tale in a realistic manner while incorporating the magic of the angel. The angel is the catalyst for the family's recovery from destitution. Before the arrival of the angel, they are a simple, poor family with a dying son. Once the angel is captured, the son recovers and the family uses the angel for financial gain. Marquez shows us true human nature. An incredible being falls to the Earth and the hu ...more
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" seems to be a story that people either hate or love; I've never really had a student feel neutral about it. With that said, it makes for an interesting class discussion because it's another one of those stories that I have to work hard with to get some of them past the "this is stupid" sentiment.
Don't think I read this specific copy but its close enough. This short story has given me hope that I may find something interesting in Spanish literature after all.
Eva Sánchez
A mesmerizing short storie that reflects fundamental aspects of a classic Latinamerican context. Genius, as it's expected from García Márquez.
João Moura
Um anjo desprezado pelos humanos a viver num galinheiro...nada parece absurdo com o realismo mágico de Gabriel García Márquez...
"A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings"
Good descriptions, but just not as impactful as I would have liked... not sure why
Marie Tea
The world has lost two monoliths of literature this month of April, 2014. I love this story.
I was forced to read this. Blaahhh. Why can't our teacher just let us read classics like Wuthering heights?
I'm not into magic realism, but this short story is very much entertaining and Marquez' narration is pretty much catchy
An awesome short story. I recommend it to everyone.
I liked this short story because the conflict was interesting. it is about how the man with enormous wings is different from others. he somehow got lost and ended up in Pelayo's house. pelayo and his wife were surprised when they first saw his wings.later on in the book, everyone started to make fun of him because of how different his wings were. at the end of the book, the very old man with enormous wings flew away from Pelayo's house because he realized that this neighborhood was not the right ...more
Bjorn Biel Beltran
The master of magic realism at work.
This is a tiny book containing two short stories from the master of magic realism. I don't think either of them were available in any of the translated anthologies before now, but it is an unashamed cash-in on Marquez's death by the publisher to rush them into print.
They are both good stories, one about the everyday nature of miracles and one about death and memory, and they are only children's stories in the sense of adults being childlike in belief.
Menna Kh.
When we talk about Magic Realism, there's no one better than Gabriel Garcia Marquez to write about it.
He weaves the work to fit right into your mind, regardless of the abnormal.
Amazing story of the society meeting the other.

Visit my blog article reviewing this story. Like if you did, and if you're gonna use it further ;)
Read online here.

Opening lines:
On the third day of rain they had killed so many crabs inside the house that Pelayo had to cross his drenched courtyard and throw them into the sea, because the newborn child had a temperature all night and they thought it was due to the stench. The world had been sad since Tuesday.
Patrick T
I read many short stories by Gabriel Garcia Maqruez for some of my English classes in high school and in college. This by far is the most dynamic! Very few others can write words and readers can close their eyes and imagine being there. Maqruez has written a gem, its as if he not wrote but composed the material! Its rear that I give five stars but this one deserves it.
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Carlson 2341 Spri...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Is the old man an Angel? 46 27 Feb 05, 2015 09:49PM  
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Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. García Márquez, familiarly known as "Gabo" in his native country, was considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. In 1982, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

He studied at the University of Bogotá and late worked as a reporter for the Colombian ne
More about Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez...
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“The unluckiest of the Caribbean’s sick came, in search of cures: a poor woman who, since childhood, had been counting the beats of her heart so long that she had run out of numbers to count; a Jamaican who, because of the tormenting sound the stars made, never slept; a sleepwalker who rose from bed at night, and in sleep undid all the things he had done in waking; and many other ailments too, less serious in nature.” 2 likes
“He argued that if wings were not the essential element in determining the different between a hawk and an airplane, they were even less so in the recognition of angels.” 0 likes
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