Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Pages: [hardcover] 150
“When I wake up,” he said, “remind me that I’m going to marry her.”
I was reluctant to start this one-even if I was being forced to read it for an assignment-because, really, how much can you do with a tiny little story like this where you know before you begin that Santiago dies? Well, a lot, apparently, because I ended up devouring it in a few hours and loving it immensely. It’s written like a long newspaper article, with the narrator referring to investigations, personal witness accounts, his own experiences, and adding whatever details come his way. And the whole mystery of it is entirely captivating. Did he or didn’t he do it?
The setting and culture were greatly described both with the plot and with the characters. I loved that it was so different from how different things are here and now. In the story, women have less rights, men have different responsibilities, there are obligations of religion and honor. Of course I don’t agree with half of what went on and it annoyed me, as a person, but I was able to become fully immersed in the action and see things from their perspective.
I didn’t like how everything was so jumbled; it would have been nice to get the information in a more convenient order, chronological or by way of the person being questioned. While this method did add to the intrigue and really had me working to think it over, I think I might have enjoyed it more if I could spend less time pondering the intricacies of how it was made up.
I recommend this book for people who like puzzles, only have a short amount of time for reading or who like fast and short reads, or who enjoy elaborate settings and don’t need much action within the plot. I give Chronicle of a Death Foretold 4/5 stars. While some points of it frustrated me, I really enjoyed it overall, and will definitely come to read it again!