Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Strange Pilgrims” as Want to Read:
Strange Pilgrims
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Strange Pilgrims

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  14,676 ratings  ·  993 reviews
In Barcelona, an aging Brazilian prostitute trains her dog to weep at the grave she has chosen for herself. In Vienna, a woman parlays her gift for seeing the future into a fortunetelling position with a wealthy family. In Geneva, an ambulance driver and his wife take in the lonely, apparently dying ex-President of a Caribbean country, only to discover that his political a ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 14th 2006 by Vintage (first published 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Strange Pilgrims, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Maleja Riveros el cuento que mas me gusto fue espantos de agosto, ya que me dejo con la intriga el final y me gusto mucho la trama, el que casi no me gusto fue el…moreel cuento que mas me gusto fue espantos de agosto, ya que me dejo con la intriga el final y me gusto mucho la trama, el que casi no me gusto fue el buen viaje,señor presidente casi no me llamo la atención (less)
Omar I just read the book. It is full of great stories, however I found some of them kind of soulless, while others are amazing and surprising, with a…moreI just read the book. It is full of great stories, however I found some of them kind of soulless, while others are amazing and surprising, with a well-paced rythm. The best was to be identified in some of the stories, because as a Latin guy I lived in Europe for almost three years: GGM was reading my mind!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,676 ratings  ·  993 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jan 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've only read "One Hundred Years", which is beyond a doubt a true masterpiece.

Here, some stories seem irregular. Thats about all I can find as detriment to this clever collection of short (some EXTREMELY so) stories. They all have several things in common: the protagonists are Latinoamericanos in olde Europa. The settings pan around the continent from Madrid to the Spanish coast, London, France, Italia... etc. The prose is good enough to inspire one to fly over there post haste... everything j
May 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of magic realism
A truly superb short story collection. I love the short stories of Marquez and his later pieces are even better than his earlier tales. This book features twelve stories written between 1976 and 1982. The first story, 'Bon Voyage, Mr President', states the general theme of those that follow: Latin American citizens adrift (or trapped) in Europe.

Some of the stories are more fantastical than others. Two of the best are also two of the most kafkaesque: 'I Only Came to Use the Phone' and 'The Trail
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nostalgia, humour
Marquez remains a great writer. While not every story in this bundle is equally enjoyable, they all show great mastery and the ability to draw interesting characters in a few lines, a feat in which some writers don't succeed in a whole book.

The Dutch translation that I read, had a horrible title. The poetical Spanish title (Doce Cuentos Peregrinos, Twelve Pilgrim Stories) fitted exactly, because there are 12 stories, the rough drafts have traveled with Marquez to the different places where he li
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Karen A.
This was one of the books that had been on my to-read list the longest, and I chose it for my most recent speed-dating project. I was originally going to count it for my Around the World challenge, and still kind of am, but it doesn't take place in just one country. Quite the opposite, each story takes place in a different European country, often with displaced Latin Americans as characters.

It just isn't surprising that these stories come from the same author as Memories of My Melancholy Whores,
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Read this during my rabid Garcia Marquez consumption of last year and it's one of the only short story collections that I actually enjoyed. Usually, I can't get into short stories, I always find the character development lacking and then just can't relate, plus I always feel cheated at the end on the occasions that I did enjoy the story because I want more. But, I think that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is simply so good at storytelling he can wrap the whole story up in a tiny package and have it sta ...more
Vicky N.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-story
Strange Pilgrims is a collection of short stories from Gabriel García Marquez, written in the seventies and released until much longer. This stories are not the perfect stories you expect from the celebrated author of Hundred Years of Solitude, some of them seem thrown together and are very cliché.
But the few that work, work really well.
I really liked the magical realism aspect in some of them like The Saint, Light is Like Water and I Sell My Dreams.
But the most gripping ones were the ones th
Strange Pilgrims is a collection of short stories with an overarching theme: the experience of South American expatriates in Europe. While I could not connect personally to the theme, I did enjoy the stories, which were imaginative and expertly constructed. The stories deal with alienation, confusion, and death, though they do so with a sort of melancholy playfulness. They are light on magical realism elements (though these elements do feature in some stories, most notably in Light is Like Water ...more
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Like Márquez always, the definitive definition of “splendid.”

He made a note of something in the prologue, though, that caught my interest: on the decades he worked on these stories, on how they unexpectedly drove him with just as much frustration as work on a novel:

“The effort involved in writing a short story is as intense as beginning a novel, where everything must be defined in the first paragraph: structure, tone, style, rhythm, length, and sometimes even the personality of a character. Al
Adarsh Chauhan
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I feel that I keep coming back to Marquez's melancholy-soaked stories time and again because I have not found any other author whose stories have that indelible impression and evocation of sorrowful sympathy as much as Marquez's. The short stories in this collection have less of his realist magical aspects than his other usual novel stories but it possesses the same unique quality in terms of conjuring and delivery. Reading one after the other, the readers gets the harmony of the short compositi ...more
Avishek Das
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just rad n get wowed
Jun 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Strange Pilgrims is a collection of short stories that Gabriel Garcia Marquez had rattling around his brain. The stories hardly carry the heft and magic of his novels, but some of them are quite striking. "I Only Came to Use the Phone" and "The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow" are both haunting stories about husbands searching for wives who have suddenly disappeared. In the former, the wife has been mistakenly locked in a mental hospital whose bureaucracies and catch-22s prevent her from leaving ...more
Yuko Shimizu
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of those feelings you can't shake, when you feel so alone in a foreign city. That feeling of isolation, completely lost. Whether you have just stepped onto that foreign land, or you have lived there for 20 years.

Every time I read a Marquez book I am reminded, that whether his stories fit in your taste or not, he wrote in his unique voice back in the 70s and early 80s (in this book's case), and these popular writers of today with their own unique voices, such as Haruki Murakami or Juno Diaz,
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Despite my aversion story collections, this one had an impact. I recall reading this one at the side of a lake, the breeze was amazing and I felt transported by these tales of myriad exiles and martyrs.
Daniel Chaikin
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
51. Strange Pilgrims : Twelve Stories by Gabriel García Márquez
translation: 1993, by Edith Grossman
originally published: 1992
format: 195 page paperback
acquired: August
read: Sep 18-25
rating: 3

Márquez presents these twelve stories as a remnant rescued from a lost collection. His introduction tells of 64 story ideas, with notes and sketches that were kept in a notebook and lost together with it. He selected these twelve for how they interact with each other, and then re-wrote them for this collecti
Anirud Thyagharajan
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Again, the rating only, and only for Garcia's writing. The stories were sort of incomplete, yet having a strange sort of closure.
Ursula Florene
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gabo is a magical realist genius I love absolutely all the stories but my favorite is one lady who thought her guts told her that she gonna die but apparently she was about to meet the love of her life; or weird story about newly weds where the wife has unstoppable bleeding and admitted to a hospital where the husband couldn’t visit her even when she died.

I didn’t read the English but Indonesian translation edition and it was good. I can feel Gabo’s whimsical narrative and it was unexpected from
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn hay!
I have read some of this book as a Penguin 60, in which four of these were re-published.

Like that review, I have stuck it is a spoiler, as with stories so short it is hard not to give plot information... but no more than other reviews have... and I don't think I have spoiled them...

As it explains on the back of my edition - 12 stories of Latin Americans in Europe, Linked by themes of displacement and exile, vivid stories of love loneliness, death and memories of past life.

(view spoiler)
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the short story "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World," which has been an enchanting but brief introduction to Marquez, _Strange Pilgrims_ is my first real encounter with his writing, which is a steady-handed mix of precision and warmth. His story-telling is urbane, evoking a 20th century past nether-world in which what for a sub-urban American is strangeness (the migrating pain of an ousted president-in-exile, the weightless body of a saint, a woman who makes a living by selling her dr ...more
Social Phobia
May 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book. I particularly enjoyed The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow and "I Only Came to Use the Phone" . I think this book is quite witty, because it makes you fall in love with the characters before you even realize it, and then you can't really stop reading. Every character has been draw, with such tenderness and humanity, you start thinking they might be your neighbors, or that you would love them as friends. The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow is exceptional, because it speaks of a lo ...more
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twelve short stories of the experiences of people from Latin America in Europe - although the prologue, telling how the stories evolved out of notes taken by GGM when he was living in Europe himself, almost makes a thirteenth story. They're whimsical and engaging, although often tragic, with elements of magical realism and/or horror. A theme is people being out of sync with their environment in one way or another, which I suppose is natural for both the emigré and the tourist experience.

I enjoye
Lisa (Liken Books)
This was part of my Author's birthday month read. Marquez was born in March so like me he's a Pisces, yes!!

I haven't read many short stories and I wasn't sure how I would feel about this one. I can honestly say out of these 12 stories there were only about 3-4 that I wasn't too fond of but otherwise I really enjoyed the rest. My issue with short stories is that of course it leaves me wanting more and that's what happened in this case. Overall, I loved the characters, the scenery, the writing, th
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gone
They range from very good to pretty bad - particularly the last story which was a shame. and maybe coloured my memories of some of the earlier ones. There's more than a hint of whimsy. Made me think I should not re-read A Hundred Years of Solitude in case the magical realism has turned into whimsy as I have got older. The best stories have a lovely clarity about the people in them but does not pin them down so they live on in the mind rather then being fixed as a picture.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Strange, Mysterious,Dark,interesting !
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Every time I read a story or novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez I ask myself, "How is it possible for one man to write with, to possess, so much perspacity and so much wisdom, so beautifully, fluidly, effortlessly?' I often struggle to string together a coherent sentence while talking and have an even more difficult time forming a decent sentence while writing. Not Marquez. In this volume, as in many of his early stories, Garcia Marquez often focuses on the innate goodness of the poor and the cynic ...more
Amrita Saju
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I started reading 'Strange Pilgrims' because I simply loved 'Love in the time of cholera' and was hoping to get another such read from Marquez. Yes, it's very similarly intense, but most of these stories are so depressing, especially the last one titled 'The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow', I didn't want it to end that way. Not that I don't enjoy that kind of writing, where even a tragedy is very beautiful to read, but I just wanted a happy ending. Is it too much to ask for that?
In most of my
Manas Gupta
3.5 to be precise. Strange pilgrims is a collection of 12 short stories written at different times by Marquez. He explains in the beginning as why he chose to write such short stories, why 12 in number and why pilgrims.

12 stories. Each within a different setting. Each with different characters. Each with a different perspective. But one thing in common: they are all about Latin Americans either residing in Europe or travelling in Europe. Precisely that's why it is all about Pilgrims.

Short stor
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
There is a revealing admission in the author's prologue that introduces this book; Marquez speaks about how, in writing these dozen stories about Latin American travelers in great European cities, he took great pains to precisely capture the moods that accompanied Paris, Barcelona, Rome, etc. After finishing the stories-- but before publishing them-- he revisited those cities, and was shocked to find that they were nothing at all like what he remembered from earlier visits. This liberated him to ...more
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is undoubtedly one of the greatest writers of the last 100 years, and probably of all time. He is the king of magical realism, and writes with a beauty and deftness that leaves the reader almost breathless. This fantastic(al) coherent set of short stories, while not necessarily the happiest of collections, is absolutely fascinating and entrancing. Usually, with a collection of short stories, you find at least one that you're at least somewhat disappointed with. Not so with ...more
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although he is not really famous for a genre of short stories, Marquez's style is a perfect reader's delight also in a short form. His storytelling is dynamic, his sentences carefully crafted, and the power to intrigue a reader for the world he's creating immense. The stories are focusing on Latinoamericans in Europe, and all of his characters are given with a remarkable quirky detail, immediately at the beginning of each story, which makes the introduction and immersing to the story even more i ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Favourite Story? 11 84 Jan 09, 2018 08:31AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Strange description 2 17 Nov 04, 2017 09:10AM  
Literautas: Doce cuentos peregrinos (septiembre-noviembre 2013) 12 112 Nov 16, 2013 03:48AM  
The Little Intern...: The Big 3: The phone, the summer, the snow 4 11 Aug 29, 2013 01:51AM  
The Little Intern...: 12 Stories: First Impressions after Reading 2 11 Aug 28, 2013 12:51PM  
The Little Intern...: About the Author 1 6 Aug 01, 2013 01:24PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Las armas secretas
  • Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y así me nació la conciencia
  • Una sombra ya pronto serás
  • El cuento hispanoamericano: antología crítico-histórica
  • The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto
  • The Crystal Frontier
  • A Russian Doll  and Other Stories
  • Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi
  • И всичко стана луна
  • Cuentos de amor, de locura y de muerte
  • Incontro d'amore in un paese in guerra
  • Pedro Páramo / El Llano en llamas
  • Los recuerdos del porvenir
  • Cuentos que me apasionaron
  • Mal de amores
  • La oveja negra y demás fábulas
See similar books…
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 n
“The fact is that being seductive is an addiction that can never be satisfied.” 21 likes
“أحمد الله أنني أدفع ثمن حماقاتي غاليًا !” 6 likes
More quotes…