Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life

by Gerald Martin
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Yesh_Prabhu More than 1 year ago
Gerald Martin's biography of the Nobel Laureate, "Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life," is an extraordinary and gripping book. Rich in information and helpful insight regarding Gabriel Garcia's likes and dislikes and obsessions, this biography reads like a novel, and it is bound to fascinate its readers, Gabriel Garcia was less than a year old when his mother left him to the care of her parents. He was too young to have had any memories of her, and so when she returns six years later, he doesn't recognize her. He is deeply perplexed when he realizes that he does not love her. He does not love her because he did not even know her. She leaves him again, quite soon. The author has written quite admirably about Gabriel Marquez's affair with the Spanish actress Tachia Quintana and Gabriel's friendship with Fidel Castro and his empathy with liberals and leftists. Gerald Martin writes well. He is especially good at describing the small villages and towns and banana plantations of Columbia and its rich topography. His descriptions of Columbia's natural beauty are vivid. This biography grips a reader's attention from the very beginning, and holds it to the very end: "One hot, asphyxiating morning in the early 1930s, in the tropical coastal region of northern Colombia, a young woman gazed through the window of the United Fruit Company train at the passing banana plantations. Row after row after row, shimmering from sun into shade." Those who love Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novels will find this book quite helpful in understanding several of his puzzling obsessions. For example, the author explains why Gabriel has written almost obsessively about illegitimate children in many of his novels: his family had so many of them! This is truly a very detailed, fascinating biography, meticulously written. Yesh Prabhu, Plainsboro, NJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Excerpt of "Gabriel García Márquez: A Life" was enought for me to tell, that the biography will be excellent. The presentation of García Márquez genealogy, brought me straight to his extraordinary novel: "Hundred Years of Solitud" I can tell it without a doubt. I was born in Colombia and best of all I've read almost 95% of his work. Definitely I will recomend and buy Gerald Martin's book.
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MarioRiosPinot More than 1 year ago
Sweet read.
Bing-Alguin More than 1 year ago
The cover of Gerald Martin's voluminous book on Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian "Cervantes", who was given the Nobel Prize in literature in 1982, in an epoch when the prize was still globally distributed, shows us an enormous close-up of the writer himself, an overwhelmingly impressive and grandiose portrait, in which he looks like sort of an old glorifying image of Goethe, or like a master of the universe, or maybe like the Latin-American dictator he so piercingly and revealingly pictured in the novel called The Autumn of the Patriarch. Is this really "Gabito", the affectionnate nickname he is so often mentioned by in the text of the book? In the foreword, Martin also emphasizes Gabriel García Márquez' outstanding position in the literary world today. He is not only the most wellknown Latin-American novelist, but also in the world as a whole, "in an era in which universally acknowledge great writers have been difficult to find, his reputation over the late four decades has been second to none." I think Martin is quite right there; neither Norman Mailer, Günther Grass, Salmon Rushdie or Alexander Solzjenitsyn can really compete with GGM in that respect. Martin has devoted nineteen years to biographical investigation into the life of GGM, and it has resulted in a enormously rich book, as events, facts and details are concerned. Nevertheless, all these almost magalomaniac demonstrations of GGM's magnificence and position are a bit in vain, considering that there is no correspondence between the gigantic portrait of the cover and the inner greatness of the writer and the vast dimensions of his novels, as it is illuminated in the biography. The picture remains a little superficial, cursory and shallow, and you may now and then wonder if this really is the greatest writer in the second half of the twentieth century. Well, this is explicitly an "A Life" biography, not a literary study, and the literary biography is really a problematic genre. What is it we actually wish to know about a great writer? Biographical factuality? Or literary analysis? Those who love a vivacious picture of a writer's colorful life will not be disappointed by Martin's book. Martin may be a little too eager to account for the hotels GGM stayed at during his travels. He may too much like to compare the persons in GGM's life with famous film stars - GMM's wife Mercedes, for example, is like Sophia Loren - and dwell upon the chivalry of Fidel Castro, attractive to the same Mercedes. But as a whole, this is fascinating and thrilling reading abour GGM's childhood in Colombia, this land of revolutionary politics and old families, described in the glorious novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, about his journey in Europe in the 1950s, and his literary success with that Colombian novel, which has been compared with Cervantes, about his political involvement and his close connection with the Cuban revolution and Fidel Castro, about his well prepared Nobel Prize and so on. The book is really great entertainment, even though you may miss a more penetrating study of the great GGM's literary universe. For all those who enjoyed the hundred years of solitude and other of his novels, this will be some hours of unrestricted bliss and good company, something "gefundenes fressen", and a happy Christmas Eve of reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of his best.