Tag: Books: Magical Realism

So You Want to Read… (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

Posted 22 August, 2017 by Lianne in Lists / 0 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

Happy August again to everyone! For this month, I decided to feature (surprise, surprise) Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The season prompted me to choose him next, but also because I recently re-read his works (and in the case of three of his works, actually typing up reviews for them). I first read his books around 2007/2009 when I was in university but because of my work load especially in grad school I never got around to reviewing his works properly, though I greatly enjoyed them. He may seem daunting–Nobel prize-winning and all–but his writings are really such a treat.

First time checking out his works? Here’s my recommendations on where to start:

  • Strange Pilgrims (review) — A great introduction. The book features twelve of his short stories, ranging from the dramatic to the strange with varying doses of magical realism, but all of them featuring Latin American characters and experiences. I think it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone in this book and there should be a story somewhere in here that will strike first time readers.
  • Of Love and Other Demons (review) — In my review of this book I mentioned that the story reads like a dark fairy tale and like Romeo and Juliet punctured with elements of madness, sickness, exorcism, and tense family relations. It’s a relatively short tale but Gabriel Garcia Marquez does a lot within the story.
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold (review) — A short tale that can be read in a day but it leaves the reader wondering and piecing together the clues from hearsay as to why a whole town knew that Santiago Nasar was going to be murdered and no one did anything to stop it. Raises questions about society and values and the group mentality.

And that’s my list! Of course there’s still a handful of his other works that I haven’t read but I think these are excellent books to start with if you’re picking up his works for the first time. If you’ve read his books, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Review: Of Love and Other Demons

Posted 7 August, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Of Love and Other Demons
By: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

On her twelfth birthday, Sierva Maria – the only child of a decaying noble family in an eighteenth-century South American seaport – is bitten by a rabid dog. Believed to be possessed, she is brought to a convent for observation. And into her cell stumbles Father Cayetano Delaura, who has already dreamed about a girl with hair trailing after her like a bridal train. As he tends to her with holy water and sacramental oils, Delaura feels something shocking begin to occur. He has fallen in love – and it is not long until Sierva Maria joins him in his fevered misery.

Unsettling and indelible, Of Love and Other Demons is an evocative, majestic tale of the most universal experiences known to woman and man.

It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’ve read three of his books to date–Love in the Time of Cholera, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold–but because of the time in which I read them, I never got around to reviewing them here (okay, not entirely true, I did review Love in the Time of Cholera (review) but this was the early days of my blogging and I don’t think I quite appreciated it then; been meaning to re-read it since, actually). Anyhow, to rectify this, I picked up two of his books since, one of them being this title.

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Review: First Frost

Posted 6 June, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

First Frost (The Waverleys #2)
By: Sarah Addison Allen
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

A magical new novel from the New York Times bestselling author ofLost Lake, featuring characters from her beloved novel Garden Spells.

Autumn has finally arrived in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, heralded by a strange old man appearing with a beat-up suitcase. He has stories to tell, stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever.

In an ideal world, I would’ve wanted to re-read the first book, Garden Spells (review), before reading this book but seeing as 1) I didn’t feel like re-reading it, 2) this book has been staring at me for some time now and 3) I was still in a bit of a reading slump but wanted some fiction to read. So here we are, at my review of First Frost at long last 🙂

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Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 17 September, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 8 Comments

Another batch of mini-reviews! 🙂 Lots of Brandon Sanderson in this one, but there’s also a few other titles noted here in this post. Included in this batch are:

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain
By: Adrianne Harun
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.

I remember when I first heard of this book, the premise sounded intriguing and unique from some of the stuff I usually read. I picked it up some time ago and had started reading it but after almost 100 pages in, I decided to put it down. I’m not sure if it was the time that I had read it or that I had chosen it as the book to read when travelling to and from work, but I just could not get into it. Almost 100 pages in, I wasn’t even sure what the book was about or where it was heading, which was a bad sign. Hence the DNF.

Rating: DNF

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Review: A God in Ruins

Posted 5 August, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

A God in Ruins
By: Kate Atkinson
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

In Life After Life Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

After finishing Life After Life (review), I jumped right into this novel (a “companion novel”, I learned afterwards). Teddy was my favourite character from the last book and after the different navigations that his life turned out there, I wondered how the author was going to go about with his story. Further incentive to finally read this book (and its predecessor): it was longlisted for the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize in Fiction 🙂

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