The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor

Overview

 In 1955, Garcia Marquez was working for El Espectador, a newspaper in Bogota, when in February of that year eight crew members of the Caldas, a Colombian destroyer, were washed overboard and disappeared. Ten days later one of them turned up, barely alive, on a deserted beach in northern Colombia. This book, which originally appeared as a series of newspaper articles, is Garcia Marquez's account of that sailor's ordeal.

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Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor

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Overview

 In 1955, Garcia Marquez was working for El Espectador, a newspaper in Bogota, when in February of that year eight crew members of the Caldas, a Colombian destroyer, were washed overboard and disappeared. Ten days later one of them turned up, barely alive, on a deserted beach in northern Colombia. This book, which originally appeared as a series of newspaper articles, is Garcia Marquez's account of that sailor's ordeal.

Translated by Randolf Hogan.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A luminous narrative that rivals the most remarkable stories of man's struggles against the sea."--Philadelphia Inquirer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679722052
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1989
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 163,361
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez was born in Colombia in 1927. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. He is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love In The Time Cholera, The Autumn Of The Patriarch, The General In His Labyrinth, and News Of A Kidnapping. He died in 2014.

Biography

Gabriel García Márquez is the product of his family and his nation. Born in the small coastal town of Aracataca in northern Colombia, he was raised by his maternal grandparents. As a child, he was mesmerized by stories spun by his grandmother and her sisters -- a rich gumbo of superstitions, folk tales, and ghost stories that fired his youthful imagination. And from his grandfather, a colonel in Colombia's devastating Civil War, he learned about his country's political struggles. This potent mix of Liberal politics, family lore, and regional mythology formed the framework for his magical realist novels.

When his grandfather died, García Márquez was sent to Sucre to live (for the first time) with his parents. He attended university in Bogotá, where he studied law in accordance with his parents' wishes. It was here that he first read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and discovered a literature he understood intuitively -- one with nontraditional plots and structures, just like the stories he had known all his life. His studies were interrupted when the university was closed, and he moved back north, intending to pursue both writing and law; but before long, he quit school to pursue a career in journalism.

In 1954 his newspaper sent García Márquez on assignment to Italy, marking the start of a lifelong self-imposed exile from the horrors of Colombian politics that took him to Barcelona, Paris, New York, and Mexico. Influenced by American novelist William Faulkner, creator of the fictionalized Yoknapatawpha County, and by the powerful intergenerational tragedies of the Greek dramatist Sophocles, García Márquez began writing fiction, honing a signature blend of fantasy and reality that culminated in the 1967 masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude. This sweeping epic became an instant classic and set the stage for more bestselling novels, including Love in the Time of Cholera, Love and Other Demons, and Memories of My Melancholy Whores. In addition, he has completed the first volume of a shelf-bending memoir, and his journalism and nonfiction essays have been collected into several anthologies.

In 1982, García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In his acceptance speech, he called for a "sweeping utopia of life, where no one will be able to decide for others how they die, where love will prove true and happiness be possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth." Few writers have pursued that utopia with more passion and vigor than this towering 20th-century novelist.

Good To Know

Gabriel José García Márquez' affectionate nickname is Gabo.

García Márquez' first two novellas were completed long before their actual release dates, but might not have been published if it weren't for his friends, who found the manuscripts in a desk drawer and a suitcase, and sent them in for publication.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Gabriel José García Márquez
    2. Hometown:
      Mexico City, Mexico
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 6, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Aracataca, Colombia
    1. Education:
      Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1947-48, and Universidad de Cartagena, 1948-49

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2010

    Spanish Class Review

    The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, published by First Vintage International in 1986, is a very interesting and unique book. The book was originally published in Spanish, then translated to English by Randolph Hogan. The book is centered around one character, a sailor from Columbia, who finds himself alone on a lifeboat for the majority of the story. I found this book to be genuinely original and well written. This book could have become extremely boring because of the monotony of being lost at sea, but the author keeps it interesting enough to make you want to find out what happens to the sailor. Even though this book didn't have much action, it was still intriguing because it was based on true circumstances.
    The story starts off on February 22, 1955, in Mobile, Alabama, with the main character, Luis Alejandro Velasco, talking about how his next voyage home to Cartagena, Columbia would be his last. He was planning to quit the Navy when he got home. He left on his voyage with seven other crew members on the destroyer, Caldas. A couple of days into the voyage, the destroyer starts to tilt dangerously to the starboard side of the ship. Luis, along with a couple of his shipmates, are called up onto the deck to try to keep the ship balanced, but they all go overboard when strong waves hit the destroyer. Luis is the only one to reach the lifeboat through the harsh water and waves. For the next ten days, Luis is stranded on the lifeboat, with no food and water, and no sense of direction. The story describes very well how horrible it is to be isolated on a lifeboat that seems to be going nowhere. Throughout the story, you learn a lot about sailors, and what they believe in, for example, on page 51, "To a sailor, sea gulls are like sighting land. It isn't proper for a sailor to kill a sea gull." I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to read a journalistic reconstruction of a person stranded out at sea. I would also recommend this book to people who like to read about real life harrowing situations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2003

    Story of a shipwrecked Sailor

    I actually read this story in Spanish- 'Relato de un Naufrago'. By reading the review, i must say that either the review is wrong in one thing or the book was translated differently. On the Spanish version it said the accident occured on the 28th of feb, but on the review says it was on the 26th. Anyways, i find this story very interesting and there's a valuable lesson to learn from. I won't say it because it might be different for anyone, if you wanna find out read the book. It's good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2000

    The Story of Outstanding Courage

    This story was a remarkable story about Luis Alejandro Velasco. He was nearly kissed with death but managed to overcome his troubles and illusions after being at sea for 11 days with no food or water. He was claimed a hero for those 11 days but in his own heart, he was just the same person is what the book reads. This is just a touching story that reaches out and grabs your heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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