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The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  21,292 ratings  ·  1,341 reviews
This is Marquez's account of a real-life event. In 1955, eight crew members of the destroyer Caldas, were swept into the Caribbean Sea. The sole survivor, Luis Alejandro Belasco, told the true version of the events to Marquez, causing great scandal at the time. ...more
Paperback, 106 pages
Published February 29th 1996 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1955)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Relato de un Náufrago = The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor, Gabriel García Márquez

This is Marquez's account of a real-life event. In 1955, eight crew members of the destroyer Caldas, were swept into the Caribbean Sea. The sole survivor, Luis Alejandro Belasco, told the true version of the events to Marquez, causing great scandal at the time.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهاردهم ماه نوامبر سال 1982میلادی

عنوان: سرگذشت یک غریق؛ نویسنده: گابریل گارسیا مارکز؛ مترجم: رضا قیصریه؛ بی جا، روزگار ما، 1359، در 1
Mutasim Billah
The full title is The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor: Who Drifted on a Liferaft for Ten Days Without Food or Water, Was Proclaimed a National Hero, Kissed by Beauty Queens, Made Rich Through Publicity, and Then Spurned by the Government and Forgotten for All Time, which pretty much sums up the story.

The story of Luis Alejandro Velasco is one of intense survival, as he was flung overboard from the destroyer Caldas with seven of his fellow seamen on February 28, 1955. The ship was traveling from Mo
That's the true story of a vigorous young sailor who fell from a Colombian navy destroyer in the 1950s in the Caribbean Sea. The literary talent of Garcia-Marquez makes us live ten days of this castaway who will survive his distress. We are a little in the world of Poe but, there, the story is true. ...more
Ina Cawl
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is been ten years since I set foot on sea as you guess am really scared of, I didn’t try learn to swim and almost drowned twice trying to show off my nonexistent swimming prowess to people, I don’t try to aboard any ship and if I tried I must make sure I have my life saving jacket near me so when things go wrong which they don’t happen but seeing my jacket calms me down
The story tells what it means to be stranded in sea where there is no water or food for ten days and survive
Our story begins
The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor was a riveting story written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez while working for a Bogotá, Colombia newspaper, El Espectador, when it was reported that eight crew members of the Caldas, a Colombian destroyer, were washed overboard and disappeared on February 28, 1955. The Caldas was sailing from Mobile, Alabama to Cartagena, Colombia when the mishap occurred. However, ten days later one of the Colombian sailors, Luis Alejandro Velasco, turned up half-dead on a deserted ...more
July 2021 update.

Due to being trolled by other goodreads users regarding my review I originally wrote three years ago for this book, I have permanently removed my upload for the foreseeable future. Please think before going after a book reviewer and criticising who they are as a reader. If you genuinely wish to hear my thoughts, feel free to send me a private message. Thanks.
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Think of a writer who can make you smile, happy and laugh with just the title of his work or with its prologue written in four short pages. I have one, and only one: Gabriel Joselito de la Concordia Garcia Marquez. And it is here, where he didn't tell his own story, but the story of another, written in the first-person narrative but in GG Marquez's hand, sort of like "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" by Gertrude Stein.

The title you see from the image of this book here at GR is not complete
This was absolutely incredible. Although told by Marquez, he makes it clear in the foreword that he is just the writer here. This story is Luis Alejandro Velasco's alone. His story of survival is one to behold and truly captures the immensity of the human spirit and will to survive. His hallucinations are both terrifying and heartwarming to read about; his struggle to capture a seagull and fish to eat; the ever-circling sharks who promptly arrived at 5pm every evening, and the winds that more th ...more
Miquel Reina
"The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor" is an ideal book for all readers that like the stories of survival and adventure (the same as me! ;D). It's a short book but written by the excellence of Gabriel García Márquez. For me, it has been a great reference book for the writing of my own novel, Lights on the Sea. I recommend The Story of a Shipwrecked to everyone, especially the one who want to discover Gabriel García Márquez amazing writing

Spanish version:
Diario de un náufrago es un libro ideal para
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
So... here's some background, I recently got a collection of numerous Gabriel García Márquez books very cheaply - so in this year (2007) I'll be looking to try and take a long look at the work of a well known and liked writer whom I don't really like!

My first foray is this retelling of shipwrecked sailor by Gabriel García Márquez. An exploration akin to the likes of Defoe and Golding, into shipwrecking, solitude and the possible reversion to primitiveness. ... and mentioning those other writers
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing my accidental trend of novellas featuring sailors & seamen. (Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, John Steinbeck's The Pearl...)

Been meaning to read GGM for ages, but a mammoth novel can be intimidating. So when I saw this slim volume on the shelf, I picked it up. Discovering in the introduction that this was actually a true story that the author covered during his time at a Colombian newspaper, serialized in 14 parts, I was initially disappointed that this wasn't a whole-cloth creati
Jul 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a journalistic reconstruction of what happened on a clear calm early 1955 morning on a destroyer traveling from Mobile, Ala. to Cartagena, Columbia, when eight sailors were suddenly swept overboard and the lone survivor thereafter battled overwhelming odds during more than 10 days at sea. Published in serial form in a local Bogota newspaper later that year, the straightforward narrative account contains little of the flow and rhythms of Marquez's later dancing prose. Only the entire titl ...more
One of GGM's retelling of a real life event. A sailor and 7 colleagues are washed overboard from an overloaded destroyer. He is the only sailor and survives for ten days without food or water. Initially a hero he is disparaged by the military dictator government who became embarrassed by the condition of the destroyer and its contraband cargo.
Even though you know the guy is going to survive it is an exciting story of an event that no one would want to experience.
Ankit Saxena
Too good to read and far better than the last book I read based on the sea adventures "The Old Man and the Sea"

Looking forward to read more from GGM..
Sarvenaz Taridashti
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
(When you feel close to death, your instinct for self-preservation grows stronger).
(In agony, a fish can jump higher and farther than it otherwise can).
(Hunger is bearable when you have no hope of food).
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: purchased
One of the earlier works if Marquez from his days as a journalist who had to cover the harrowing ordeal of a shipwrecked sailor as he narrated straight from the horse's mouth. It's an incredible tale of survival at sea, with almost nothing to fend yourself with other than ones resolve and the determination to not die. It's a short but intense read which keeps you on the edge of the seat. Despite knowing the final outcome, you can't help but be looking forward to the circumstances surrounding the ...more
Yuko Shimizu
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
After finishing a 700 pages of a brick The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay I picked this up from my 'to read' pile, solely because I needed a thinnest book before moving onto another. You know, like palette cleanser. Sorbet that comes in between fancy course meal, or that pink pickled ginger on the side of a sushi plate.

It turned out the palette cleanser tasted better than the fancy big plate I just finished.
The story was originally a series of newspaper column back in 1955. Then a young
Margarida Pagaimo
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You'll see this book with different eyes once you realize it is not a fictitious novel but rather a report of a real-life event.
Gabo's descriptions definitely sparked my basic senses, such that I would often feel as if I was in Luis' shoes. It was with great anguish that I perceived how his condition was deteriorating as the days went by, and how his mind played a role in his fate.
After reading Gabriel García Marquez autobiography I couldn't help but see this novel with different eyes. I get a
Oct 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you if you are not on a boat
shipwrecked sailor reminds me a lot of life of pi with the whole lost-on-a-boat-trying-to-find-a-reason-to-survive plot. in my opinion, sailor kicks pi's ass hands down because it really fucking happened to this guy. yikes.

i was totally immersed in the world this book creates. i read most of it one morning and the only thing that brought me out of it was people's bathroom noises. otherwise, i was out in the ocean; thirsty, battling sharks, and trying to eat my shoe.
Jun 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My first thought was that the narrative flows just like the waves at the sea - rising and crashing, mimicking the hope and despair of navigating between death and life. The little facts about surviving when lost at sea were interesting and the style, though simple, was impactful.
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor" represents the first major work of Gabriel Garca Marquez. Initially appearing as a serialized true account in the Columbian newspaper El Espectador, the book version saw the first light of the day in the year 1970. This truly represents the birthing of a master story teller, a consummate weaver who sublimates fact and fiction and a spontaneous genius who conflates the surreal with the apparent.

In the year 1955, a Columbian destroyer "Caldas", homeward bound f
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As humans we seem pretty fascinated with stories of human survival. The idea of the endurance of the human spirit has been explored in numerous films, books and television programmes. So it makes sense that Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s first work would be one that explores this very issue. The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor is a journalistic re-telling of the true story of 20-year-old Luis Alejandro Velasco who was washed overboard and then survived floating on a raft without food or drink for ten da ...more
Ritesh Kukrety
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hispanic-otters
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the elder statesman of South American literature, needs no introduction. People better read and more skilled than I have already gushed lyrical in his praise and that of his prose. All I have to say for The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor is that it is a singularly beautiful story. Even better, I would say, than that other landmark nautical story about a solitary man braving the sea, Old Man and the Sea . Garcia Marquez's first published work (written as a journalist ...more
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I thought the forward was more interesting than the story itself.
"And then it was wet. And then I got really hot. And then there were sharks. And I was hungry and thirsty. And then I found land. The end."
This was probably the most boring survival story I've ever read. I mean...I'm glad he lived but...why would you publish your story, have someone amazing like Marquez help you....and have almost zero descriptions? Why bother publishing this at all? Besides to stick it to the corrupt government..
Ciara McAuley
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great short novel! A reminder to persevere the tough times.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: retro-reviews
The author of Love in the time of Cholera (which admittedly I never read, though I did enjoy that other book whose name I now forget) basically is the conduit for a true story of a shipwrecked sailor who at one point in the tale, tries to eat his shoe. I read this 106 page book in one sitting, so I must have liked it.
Ishan Mainali
Sep 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book after Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea made it an even more enthralling journey. The calm tone employed by Márquez in this work was a direct contrast to Hemingway's action-packed narrative in his book.

Nevertheless, The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor is as much a treatise on the extraordinary feats that humans can animate themselves through as that represented by Santiago's story in the Old Man and the Sea.
Ashok Krishna
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good one. Will share the detailed review later.
Esterina Terpollari
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very true story described with the very true words of the shipwrecked sailor, combined with the amazing style of lonelines typicall for Marquez.
Jul 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A delightful little novel. I liked it more than the extravagant magic realism of the mature Marquez. That the book is based on actual incidents adds to its charm.
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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 later worked as a reporter for the Colombian

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