Title: Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Author: Gabriel García Márquez
Originally published: 1981
The morning after the festivities of Angela Vicario’s wedding, Santiago wakes with no idea that the bride’s brothers are on their way to kill him. On the same night of Angela’s wedding her husband Bayardo San Roman discovered that she was not a virgin and returned her home. When forced to reveal who violated her, Angela named Santiago Nasar. The brothers set off to kill him to avenge their sister’s honour.
This short and digestible book is written in fine journalistic investigative style. The non-linear order adds to the mystery and page by page, you’re constantly wondering what happens next. It is quite interesting how even though the twin brothers make it known to people that they’re on their way to kill Santiago, most people do nothing to warn him. This highlights how far deep the belief in honour goes. But the tradition of honour is not the only notable theme in the story – there is also the powerlessness of women. We see this in how Angela has no choice but to marry Bayardo because he is wealthy, among other things, and also how he immediately returns her to her mother’s house who beats her for hours for bringing shame to the family.
“They’re perfect,” she was frequently heard to say. “Any man will be happy with them because they’ve been raised to suffer.”
― Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold
If Chronicle of a Death Foretold is your first read by Márquez then it may as well open the invitation to explore more of his books. The 1982 Nobel Prize winner’s writing clearly makes a full commitment to the reader to leave them feeling satisfied. This book is captivating and pleasant, it leaves you satiated yet curious and hungry to discover more of his work. There is so much to devour in the story’s short time-frame. It is impressive how García Márquez managed to compress the heavy action into a few eight hours without leaving the reader cheated.
If you love mystery, crime fiction and just beautifully woven narration, you will enjoy this book.
Here are some of the places you can find it:
- Amazon (International)
- Takealot (South Africa)
- Text Book Centre (Kenya)
- Prestige Bookshop (Kenya)
- Barnes & Noble (International)
- Exclusive Books (South Africa)
- Loot.co.za (South Africa)
- eBay (International)
Check your local libraries, street vendors and second-hand stores too.