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Living to Tell the Tale

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2007

    A decisive trip

    In 'Living to Tell the Tale' a memoir of his life up to young adulthood, the Nobel prize winner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez begins with a journey with his mother to sell the family home. He was 23 year old, had published six short stories in a literary supplement to El Espectador,a newpaper in Bogata,Columbia. He had dropped out of law school, was working at the paper for three pesos a week and was dressed in sandals and jeans. Thje heat was intolerable. To reach Aracataca where his mother's home was located, they had to go by motor launch from Barranquilla through a vast swamp of muddy water to a train station in the town of Cienaga. 'Neither my mother nor I could even have imagined that this simple two-day trip would be so decisive...', he wrote. 'Now with more than seventy-five years behind me, I know it was the most important decision in my entire life that I had to make..', to leave the law and become a writer. At Cienaga,'That's where the world ended.' In 1928, the army had killed an untold number of striking banana workers. Three thousand men, women and children in the square had five minutes to evacuate.' The United Fruit Company had left. People waiting for the company to come back had been slaughtered indiscriminately by the army. At the end of their journey, Marquez said to his mother,'Tell Papa I'm going to be a writer. Nothing but a writer' Of his writing method Marquez writes,'Everything poured out rough and raw, that was inside me. Novels do not begin the way you want them to but the way they want to', he says. Marquez describes his student days in Bogata: The popular leader of the opposition, Gaitan, was assassinated. There was a 'march of silence against Liberalism 'the ruling party'. The army employed a scorched earth policy in rural areas. Marquez remembers Fidel Castro who was in Bogata as a 20-year old student invited as a delegate from the University of Havana to the Pan-American conference in 1948. Marquez describes a 'city at war. The number of dead in the streets was incalcuable.' After three days of of confinement when Marquez hid in a cousin's home, the city was in ruins. 'The stink of death in gthe streets was unbearable.' Marquez fled Bogata, 'A city 'which' would never recover from its rubble.' 'The 20th century began in Columbia', he wrote. In this account of his early years, Marquez mingles literary history, politics and family life in a fascinating story that rivals his prize-winning novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2004

    Treat for GGM's Fans

    The linear writing is quite foreign to the usual style of GGM. The interest of the passages is sustained by 'Aha...' effects on where he got his stories and eventually they make sense. When I first read and readily fell in love with his stories I sense certain parallel lives with his. The book confirms it. Viva to the Maestro!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2004

    One of the best

    One of the best in 2003 ,what an amazing biography Gabriel Garcia is telling us.He makes us live his youth in this book.This is another one of his master pieces where he recounts his life step by step with all of the details.Translation lost part of the real meaning,but when people have read some of his books is not a problem.RECOMENDED.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2003

    The master of Macondo

    Dostoeveski immortalised St.Petersburg in the 19th century with stories and characters,that will live on in the imagination of readers,perhaps forever.Macondo is THE literary feat of 20th century imagination and Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a worthy rival to the Master of St. Petersburg!'Living to tell the tale 'is as magical as his great works of fiction.I am in the middle of it and I hope it never ends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2003

    If you read one memoir this year, this should be the one!

    This memoir from the Nobel laureate Marquez is a brilliant portrait of his early chidhood and adolescence. Through the chapters we learn about the places,people and history of Columbia which shaped him as a writer. His descriptions of Columbia are astounding, taking us through such historical episodes as the massive slaughter of banana workers by the United Fruit Company as well as the numerous rebellions that took place during his year there. To me the real heart of this book are his memories of his mother, siblings and relatives who all played a very important role in the formation of his character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    Love The Title!

    Anything Marquez writes is going to be eminently readable; and '100 Years of Solitude' belongs on everyone's Greatest Novels List -- but who can resist an autobiography with the title 'Living To Tell The Tale'?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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