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The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel…
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The General in His Labyrinth (1989)

by Gabriel García Márquez

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (20)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
El Coronel en su Laberinto es una novela con un detalle descriptivo bastante elocuente y envolvente. Me gusto mucho leer este libro, el mismo retrata una descripción histórica y a la vez de novela.

Del libro me gusto y sorprendió leer sobre Santo Domingo.

Es recomendable para aquellas personas relacionadas con las fuerzas militares, puesto que el tema principal evoca en la vida de un militar, conquistador de naciones en toda América Latina, quien sera ese? Pues Bolívar, quien no querría saber sobre este grandioso hombre de nuestra América.

Este es uno de los libros de García que se recomienda leer, hasta el momento solo he leído dos, este y Crónica de una Muerte Anunciada. ( )
  Pamelangeles | Jul 3, 2014 |
Aclamado por el pueblo como Libertador, blanco de numerosas conjuras políticas y militares, héroe romántico y hasta libertino para sus detractores y sus partidarios, idealista íntegro y abandonado que contempla las ruinas de su sueño de unidad de los pueblos americanos, tras la independencia del dominio español, Simón Bolivar emprende el que será su viaje final.
  BibliotecaLardero | Apr 22, 2014 |
Hmmm. I did find this a bit ponderous, and must confess that I didn't finish it (got about half way through). However, I thought the portrait of the general and his mental and physical deterioration was excellent (although weird at times). ( )
  kmstock | Apr 6, 2014 |
The novel is about two journeys made by the Liberator Simón Bolívar. The first is the physical journey of Bolívar on the Magdalena River to Cartagena de Indias and the second is the way to his death.
  LASC | Oct 3, 2012 |
The General in His Labyrinth is a different offering than what I expect from Marquez, one of my favorite writers. Not so much in style as in content; whereas he generally pens straight fiction, this is a fictionalized account of Simon Bolivar's final days, and reads more like a biography with (great) liberties than a novel. Bolivar, the Liberator, is fleeing Santa Fe de Bogota, where the people revile him in the streets, burning effigies, scrawling obscene insults on walls, and papering the streets with inciting pamphlets. The General was the hero of the continent during the war for liberation, but now that Spanish rule has been thrown off, his dream of seeing one completely united country is crumbling, and his glory has been sucked away through the efforts and schemes of politics. Bolivar sails up the Magdalena River, intending to leave South America entirely, thoroughly disillusioned and disgusted. The book starts with the complicated task of his departure from Santa Fe de Bogota, follows his journey along the Magdalena, and doubles back with him as he decides to make one more attempt to unite the country, starting fresh, only to be stopped by death.

When I say that Marquez writes straight fiction, I might be misleading. He is a master of the magical realism style, where the supernatural and fantastic is mingled with the natural in such a fashion as to be accepted as a commonplace. This novel tones down that quality quite a bit, because Marquez is true to the factual information on which his story is based. Still, where he is able, small flourishes of that style emerge, such as his description of Manuela Saenz's entourage, or the rumors of men who walk on birds legs in a remote section along the Magdalena. In all other aspects, his charming writing style remains unchanged. He juxtaposes poignant with vulgar, a wondrous love story can enclose atrocities, and the sentences flow with a rhythm perfect for oral reading. As in other stories, Marquez plays with the flow of time. In this book, he has a convenient justification for the nonlinear chronology: the main part of the book occurs in Bolivar's mind as he reflects on his life, and our minds are notorious for skipping about from one thread of thought to another, irrespective of the time when something occurred. The story cuts about in Bolivar's history at will, spanning entirely different periods of time in a few pages, triggered by the memories passing through Bolivar's mind.

Clearly, much of this interior monologue is fictional, but Marquez took effort to present as realistic a fiction as possible. He used letters and journals, research articles and novels, to compile accurate information about the man Bolivar, a hero in South America. Not only did his background reading contribute to the details such as where he traveled and when, and what he did, but he also used it to guide the conversations and mental reflections in the book. He tried to make his characters speak the way the historical figures did in their own letters. Having read the note at the end of the book and the timeline, I feel that Marquez lived in the man's skin as much as he possibly could, to produce a highly personal story that, while fiction, represents a very real possibility of what might have been.

Like much of his work, this was a fast read for me. The dialogue is believable, and his descriptive passages are always so enjoyable. I do prefer when he writes his fiction rather than fictionalized history, because I love the magical realism touches, and this book was very understated in that department. Nevertheless, it was a good book, interesting and well written, and it taught me about a subject in which I have very little knowledge. I feel that I should do more research on Bolivar and the history of South America, because the topic seems fascinating from the taste this novel provides. I don't know how much is Marquez's characterization, and how much is historical fact, but Bolivar is a compelling person, full of contradictions - eloquent and crude, romantic and reserved, triumphant and despondent. Whether you are a fan of Marquez's skills, or are interested in this time period, consider this book as a good addition to your reading list. ( )
  nmhale | Sep 23, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Had Bolivar not existed, Mr. Garcia Marquez would have had to invent him. Seldom has there been a more fitting match between author and subject. Mr. Garcia Marquez wades into his flamboyant, often improbable and ultimately tragic material with enormous gusto, heaping detail upon sensuous detail, alternating grace with horror, perfume with the stench of corruption, the elegant language of public ceremony with the vulgarity of private moments, the rationalistic clarity of Bolivar's thought with the malarial intensity of his emotions, but tracing always the main compulsion that drives his protagonist: the longing for an independent and unified South America.
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
García Márquez, Gabrielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brotherus, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grossman, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morino, AngeloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Борисова, АллаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
It seems that the devil controls the business of my life.
(Letter to Santander, August 4, 1823
Dedication
For Alvaro Mutis, who gave me the idea for writing this book
First words
Jose Palacios, his oldest servant, found him floating naked with his eyes open in the purifying waters of his bath and thought he had drowned.
Quotations
Lo que mi señor piensa, sólo mi señor lo sabe
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394582586, Hardcover)

General Simon Bolivar, “the Liberator” of five South American countries, takes a last melancholy journey down the Magdalena River, revisiting cities along its shores, and reliving the triumphs, passions, and betrayals of his life. Infinitely charming, prodigiously successful in love, war and politics, he still dances with such enthusiasm and skill that his witnesses cannot believe he is ill. Aflame with memories of the power that he commanded and the dream of continental unity that eluded him, he is a moving exemplar of how much can be won—and lost—in a life.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:00 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Recounts the turbulent life of the great Simon Bolivar.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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