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Living to Tell the Tale

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  9,522 ratings  ·  716 reviews
He is perhaps the most acclaimed, revered and widely read writer of our time, and in this first volume of a planned trilogy, Gabriel Garcia Marquez begins to tell the story of his life. Living to Tell the Tale spans Marquez's life from his birth in 1927 through the beginning of his career as a writer to the moment in the 1950s when he proposed to the woman who would become ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published January 27th 2005 (first published 2002)
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Steven Charnow At times Garcia Marquez gives too much detail, taking his time - especially when writing about his early years. But overall the book is a fascinating …moreAt times Garcia Marquez gives too much detail, taking his time - especially when writing about his early years. But overall the book is a fascinating account of the life, up to a point - he was planning to write two more volumes - of a Nobel winner. He writes of events and people in his life that were the sparks for his novels and incidents in them. A great read.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Vivir para contarla = Living to Tell the Tale, Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

Living to Tell the Tale is the first volume of the autobiography of Gabriel García Márquez. The book was originally published in Spanish in 2002, with an English translation by Edith Grossman published in 2003.

Living to Tell the Tale tells the story of García Márquez' life from 1927 through 1950, ending with his proposal to his wife.

It focuses heavily on García Márquez' family, schooling, and early career as a journalist an
K.D. Absolutely
The 6th book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014) that I've read. This is supposedly the first volume of this 3-part autobiography. I chose this over his other novels or novella in my to-be-read folder because he just recently died and so I thought I would like to know more about him by reading his autobiography.

I am not sure if there is still the second or the third part of this autobiography. This book, published in 2002, was the last published non-fiction of him. For fiction, it was the nov
this has been, without a doubt, the best autobiography that i have ever read. not only that it offers you an endless amount of details about Marquez himself and the influences that made him become a writer, it is also a fine analysis of the political and economical situation of the XXth century Columbia. Alternating between these two very interesting topics, Marquez makes the writer feel what he felt and see what he saw when he was younger.

his life, like most lives of the biggest writers of our
Daniel Clausen
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2020
I will finish this book in a week's time, but I am inspired to write the review now. Perhaps it is only fitting that my future ties in with my present...though I fail to see for the moment how my past is involved with this book, perhaps melancholy dreams with instruct me.

There is a moment in this book where Gabito meets the "insatiable reader". It is on a boat trip to Bogota to apply for a government scholarship for college. He sees the man at a seat, reading book after book on all kinds of eru
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
I remember absolutely nothing from this book.
Oct 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I bought this novel-like autobiography in 2005 and hoped to finish reading it as soon as possible but, typically, his narration seemed tedious with his famous ‘mystic realism’ to me whenever I read his novels. Therefore, I quit during my rough journey in Chapter 3 (page 156). Then I resumed reading some pages in 2009 and left it at that (page 173) till early this month I decided to finish it and thought I should enjoy reading his prose and dialogs as well as something from him, one of the great ...more
M. Sarki
Dec 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I generally read an autobiography because I already know the person's work or what they are noted for. In the case of Márquez the opposite was true. I had only just recently read Memories of My Melancholy Whores before plunging into this extremely boring story of his life. Almost immediately I tired of his memories and found little of interest to me. Not so much an exhausting exercise in pretension, though at times measurable, but rather a history of events I could not relate to and not at all i ...more
Oct 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: GGM fans
This book was written by my favorite author about being a great author. Perhaps, it is small-minded and greedy of me but, an overwhelming part of me just wants all that easy poetry without experiencing the mountain of work that it requires. It's similar to the reasons I go out to eat without needing to see the kitchen. Though at times, regret failing to do so.
In the end, I'm glad to have read what makes this extraordinary man tick and found myself stalling so I could continue to read the memoir.
Sumirti Singaravel
Brilliant, beautiful, wildly mad yet poised.
There are writers and there is Garcia.

Note to self: Write a full-blown review soon.
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magical-realism
Garcia Marquez's real life is as full of magic as his fiction. Every event is a well crafted feat of naturalism as he recounts the events that shaped his life. Bright colors and mourning black denote the time and season. Tragedies happen too often. Living life takes determination, good music, good beer and a typewriter. Garcia Marquez shows us how his writing developed in the newsrooms of Bogata. He learned to write irresistible fiction in short form at first and ever expanding lengths.

This fir
Rowland Pasaribu
"Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it".

So begins the first volume of the autobiography of Marquez detailing the amazing circumstances and events and characters that filled the first 27 years of his life. Born in Columbia at a time when "people lived in the shadow of poetry", when "poetry (was) the only concrete proof of the existence of man", Marquez was, above all else, a man of letters. He received the Nobel Prize for literature for
Book Concierge
This is the first in a planned three-volume autobiography, taking the reader from Marquez’s birth in 1927 to his young adulthood in the mid 1950s.

In recounting his early life, the author also tells the history of Columbia – the politics, culture, troubles and triumphs of the people. He talks about his family and the women who raised him. And, of course, he talks about the women he loved, physically if not emotionally.

Marquez cannot tell a tale without some element of magical realism; that style
Mar 12, 2008 rated it liked it
I barely gave this book a three, seriously considering a two for a long time. I have been waiting to write this review for months -- because that's how long it took to get through this thing. I love the author and his other fiction, so I was excited about this book... and then disappointed. There are flashes of his descriptive abilities and narrative voice, but overall the book just seems to meander from event to event in his life. At times it reads like a list of people he knew ("That was when ...more
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's good to return to the places where we were happy and to the books that make us happy . In this book , GGM says that we should only read the books that force us to reread them , and this sentence fits perfectly with his own works . This one is particularly interesting to understand how GGM's life and relatives ( grandparents , parents , sisters , brothers , etc. ) were turned into novels like One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love In The Time of Cholera . Specially these two ones . Happy New ...more
Edvinas Gliebus
I would wish to write like Marquez one day. Definitely one of the best books I have ever read. And no analysis needed. So rich, so so strong, so real.
Roger Norman
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it

The Australian writer Peter Carey described Marquez at the time of his death as ‘the greatest writer of our time’, a judgement no doubt echoed in many quarters of the literary world. It was A Hundred Years of Solitude that did it, published when Marquez was 40. The author himself preferred The Autumn of the Patriarch, a tremendous study of tyranny and decadence notable for the absence of all punctuation whatever, but for most of us ‘Solitude’ is the one that made the difference. Readers of Livin
Jul 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
I'm sure people will find it crazy, perhaps even a little blasphemous, that as a writer myself I didn't love Gabriel Garcia Marquez's autobiography. Perhaps I wasn't in the correct frame of mind when reading it; perhaps I need to stick to memoirs and avoid autobiographies; who knows? I found it long and tedious in feel, without much to hold my actual interest. Overall, it seemed to slide toward overarching summaries. The parts I did find myself intersted in were more like scenes, detailed and mo ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this early autobiography (his first 27 years). I've loved and hated his different novels, and I understand much better now where his stories come from. The fiction is much closer to real life than I would have thought possible ... at least, if all the little anecdotes in here are true...
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Perhaps a tad bloated, but his writing is amazing and a lot of the information interesting. Not sure if I will delve into the next two portions of his autobiography, but we shall see. I have loved many of his books. I did enjoy some of the descriptions of his homeland and places he grew up, as well as his schooling.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
One helluva long read, but Garcia Màrquez’s memoir is just as enchanting as his works of fiction. I enjoyed every moment.
David Smith
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it
What a memory! Stunning writing throughout, of course, but easy to get lost in the details. Names blur together, events are mentioned and left behind. But that's fine. Just get a glimpse at the world and history that informed one of the best modern writers.

The book seems to have two voices. In the beginning the prose resembles the novels as we meet the real people that inspired them. You feel their superstitions, the Colombian heat, the grinding of daily life and a haunting past. There is a subtle change and when he actually starts to write (as a career) this begins a more reportorial style.

The first part as in his novels, time and resolution are undefined. You weave forward and back. When you're given a date, you don't always know its relevance t
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Like many voracious readers of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I was devastated by his death earlier this year, signaling as it did the end of an era; no more works would come from his inimitable pen. I stumbled upon Living to Tell the Tale in a bookshop in Paris and had to buy it. From the very first page, I was thoroughly enchanted.

As warm and inviting as his best novels, and with the added thrill of knowing that at least half of it is true, this book is a masterful interweaving of Colombia's coming o
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, autobiography
If you know Gabriel Garcia Marquez's writing then you'll know that you are getting into a very detailed and lengthy story of his first 30 years with long sentences and lovely adjectives. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the account of the history of Colombia he gives. It is amazing how much his real life influenced his fiction writing. His love for words and reading is inspiring. It also makes me feel better knowing he isn't a good speller even to this day. I recommend this book to anyone who h ...more
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Marquez tells the story of his childhood, student years and early work as a journalist and short story writer. He was often extremely poor and he was often in difficulties, but he tells his story with so much beauty and lyricism that it transcends his circumstances.
I also learnt a lot about the political and nationalist concerns of him and his friends and how they used their literary talent in the service of those concerns.
It is the most captivating autobiography or biography of a literary figur
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book could have been awful. Full of all the worst kinds of self praise that goes along with being world renowned for anything. Thank god it didn't because i would have been deeply upset at one of my favorite authors. This memoir is written with a certain kind of humility that i found refreshing. And i know that it's true to the world that we live in, but i wish the women in this book had been more than mothers, sisters or things to sleep with. A little more description of the incredibly str ...more
Fans of Marquez will be surprised to know that everything he has written before this was but a subset of this one book. Everything Marquez has written previously is contained within the pages of Living to Tell the Tale.

This book is not a mere autobiography; this is a systematic deconstruction of his entire oeuvre, from what we thought to be high-fiction, into even higher nonfiction. No reading of Marquez will ever be complete without reference to Living to Tell the Tale.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: latino
i'd recommend this only if you've read at least some of gabo's work, as much of the development correlates with his novels. this is the first of two parts, the 2nd of which as yet unpublished. i only hope he can stay with us and finish his memoirs.
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not the most pretentious of memoirs, but it was boring as fuck half the time. The writing is loose and tedious, and I haven't seen this much name-dropping since Glamorama. Hard to keep up, unless you're a hardcore Garcia Marquez fan.
Con Bé Ki
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, ebook
She: You know William Faulkner?
He: No, who's he? Someone you slept with?

William Faulkner is one of Garcia Marquez's best "friends" during the home-selling journey of Marquez and his mother.
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Goodreads Librari...: Add information 9 14 May 11, 2018 12:38PM  
Play Book Tag: Living to Tell the Tale / Gabriel Garcia Marquez - 3*** 1 9 Oct 13, 2017 02:12PM  
صالون الجمعة: عشت لأروي | 6-2014 35 235 Jun 11, 2014 01:55AM  
مشاعر ماركيز وأحاسيسه المرهفة 2 22 Dec 15, 2012 07:11AM  
Trilogy ? 4 42 Jun 13, 2012 04:28PM  

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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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