Review: Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Posted 10 August, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Chronicle of a Death Foretold
By: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Just hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, everyone agrees, Bayardo San Roman returned his bride in disgrace to her parents. Her distraught family forced her to name her first lover; and her twin brothers announced their intention to murder Santiago Nasar for dishonoring their sister.

Yet if everyone knew the murder was going to happen, why did no one intervene to stop it? The more that is learned, the less is understood, and as the story races to its inexplicable conclusion, an entire society–not just a pair of murderers—is put on trial.

Strange, for such a quick read–you can easily read this in a day–I actually never got around to writing a book review for it. Given that I was reading some books by him that I never got around to, not to mention hoping to get around to re-reading his other books again, I decided to revisit it.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is an interesting tale where a crime is committed and no one in town does anything to stop the crime from happening. The reader is drawn into the story, piecing together accounts told by various members of the town who knew and saw the deceased the day of his death, figuring out what happened, why they thought it was Santiago who committed the crime, and what likely happened. It’s a novella of hearsay, really, and it was just fascinating to read and watch this story unfold. What you think you know turns out to be a smokescreen to something else, that things are not as they seem.

Readers who enjoy mysteries and whodunnit novels will definitely enjoy this novel. It has less magical realism elements compared to his other novels but the humanity behind the characters and the sorrows they carry are nonetheless precent like in any story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I can see now perhaps why I didn’t write a review the first time around–it seems like there’s not much to say about it and yet so much to say about it in terms of the complexity of human nature and association through the few pages the story was presented in–but it’s nonetheless a novel worth checking out.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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