Laura's Reviews > Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
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Aug 14, 2008

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As is typical in Garcia Marquez, you know what is going to happen plot-wise (Santiago Nasar gets murdered) in the first sentence of the book. However, what happens is not quite as important, or interesting, as what has happened to every other person in that town around this event, moving backwards and forwards in time. Santiago's murder is merely the event around which the entire character of the town is put into relief.
I gave this three stars, because it felt a little formulaic. The way the narrator tells the story is as if he were a journalist gathering all of the quotes after a murder scene -- it reminded me of modern reporting... "He always kept to himself, he always took his trash out on time, he was a good neighbor.... who knew he was actually a murderer?" It has that kind of feel with the current action interlaced with flashbacks of that current action.
This book lacks the beautiful magical realism that Garcia Marquez masters in some of his later books. It is, however, short and a very quick read (I read it in about 4 hours). It might even count as a novella, I'm not sure. I'll have to check with Meredith on that.
I also wondered about the translation of my particular edition which was published by Ballantine. There were some phrases that seemed really awkward, and, if I taught this book to high schoolers (as I might this year), I would have to read the Spanish edition as well to make sure that there are no misunderstandings.
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