This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Collected stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Collected stories (edition 1991)

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,67596,444 (3.99)20
Title:Collected stories
Authors:Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Info:Jonathan Cape (1991), Hardcover, 292 pages
Collections:Books read in 2011

Work details

Collected Stories by Gabriel García Márquez



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 20 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
6. Collected Stories by Gabriel García Márquez
translators: Gregory Rabassa & J. S. Bernstein
published: 1984
format: 343 page paperback
acquired: December
read: Jan 18-25
rating: 4½
Original collections:
Eyes of the Blue Dog: stories 1947-1955, English translation 1968. Translated by Gregory Rabassa
Big Mama’s Funeral: stories 1962, English translation 1972. Translated by J. S. Bernstein
The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother: stories 1968-1972, English translation 1978. Translated by Gregory Rabassa

Márquez spent his youngest years away from his parents, living in the Columbia coastal town of Aracataca with his grandparents, who he explains were both great story tellers. His grandmother would mix in fanciful aspects to her stories without breaking her tone, as if she was telling all fact. He has explained these were huge influences on his writing. And it seems he was always writing.

This is my first step into Márquez. I will follow him in mostly a chronological manner, and this collection includes some of his earliest published work. The first story, The Third Resignation, was published in 1947 when Márquez was 20 years old. What this collection offers in an evolution in the writing of talented and creative story teller.

[Eyes of the Blue Dog], the first collection, is weakest and yet the one I find I have the most to say about, because of how his writing changes from story to story. Several things are notable about the earliest stories, The Third Resignation, The Other Side of Death, and Eva is inside her cat. They have striking opening lines, with words like "sharp", and phrases like "cold, cutting, vertical noise", they are psychoanalytical, idea heavy, and rather dull to read, leaving this reader interested, but counting pages till the end. The Other Side of Death ends "in the other world, the mistaken and absurd world of rational creatures,” A phrase that is maybe revealing as to where Márquez was headed. These stories all have very different approaches, and strengths. In the title story a man has an intimate conversations with a woman in his dreams, one he can see, but can't touch, and who he completely forgets as soon as he wakes, even as she keeps telling him how to find her. It's an exploration of desire and relationships. It's a good story, but most notable because of different way to approaching what he is exploring. Whereas the most compelling story for me, the first one where I forgot to count the pages, was straight forward. Titled The Woman Who Came at Six O’Clock, it's only a conversation, a flirtatious and manipulative one between between a woman and a bar tender in an empty bar. There are five more stories after that, and I would say each one is just a much better story, much more readable, then the earlier ones, but still very imaginative. And, in each story, it seems he's getting closer to home.

Every story in [Big Mama’s Funeral] is well developed. One might say a maturing author developing into mastering his abilities. The stories are starting to feel like pieces of a larger worlds, like Márquez is just giving us a window and that he could keep going on and I wouldn't have minded. Most of these stories are very much his world in small town coastal Columbia, in Aracataca, which gets mentioned in the last story, the title story. Characters reoccur, the tone changes, and there is a heavy, if dark or darkly tinted, humor. In the title story the tone is hyper-formal. "...and for the third time in twenty centuries there was an hour of confusion, chagrin, and bustle in the limitless empire of Christendom...

The author of [1926190::The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother] is not experimenting so much as making his points through story telling. In the opening story, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, an angel falls into a town and becomes something like a zoo attraction. He doesn't speak and doesn't interact with anyone, just stoically bides his time until his wings heal and he wordlessly flies off. What is Márquez saying? The main sense in all these stories is of a fairy tale, but with all the dark elements, with wonderful characters, usually leaving us with a sense of how small they are in a strange wider world they will never understand. When the outside world comes, it seems everyone always ends up losing something to them, and when they branch out, the characters just disappear. Several of these are really quote terrific, and they all leave something to think about, even if it seems mostly through the authors restraint. He just has a way of writing up strange or fantastic events in the same flat fairy tale tone and it leaves the reader wondering.

So, a fun a collection and a good start for my tour through his work. ( )
  dchaikin | Jan 31, 2018 |
2.5/5 stars
A lot of these stories are not special or interesting.
A Very Old Man, The Handsomest Drowned Man, Balthazar's Marvelous Afternoon, The Sea of Lost Time were my highlights. Blacaman the Good and Incredible Sad Tale of Innocent Erenida were also pretty good. ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
This is the first I've read by Marquez and OK, I guess.
One of Marquez's themes that becomes clear over the course of these twenty-six stories is the way that the odd quickly becomes familiar, and how some things that are familiar are actually rather odd in practice. The first batch of stories, published as "Eyes of a Blue Dog" in Spanish, are insistently concerned with the limits of physical existence. The characters experience blindness, death, and other hardships tied to their bodies. Marquez finds a way to pick out the salient details, creating drama out of even a man shaving himself using his own reflection.
That reflection story in particular manages to hint at his later moves towards the fantastic. The third and final batch of stories starts with the excellent story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," which chronicles the arrival in town of a very old man with enormous wings. Initially a spectacle, he quickly ceases to hold any value for the town's residents, forced to subsist on mush in a chicken coop. Marquez shows how the ordinary can subtly be fantastic by presenting a fantastic situation that quickly turns ordinary. I suppose this is an aim of the larger magical realism movement too.
The voice is hard to pin down, too. It's got that slippery feel of translated prose to it, but not the simple, plain-spoken quality of Murakami's take on magical realism. It can be sensuous one moment, and clinical the next. It dives into characters and spins out of them just as quickly. It refuses to be pinned down, but still feels as if it was all written by the same author. I could never really get my thumb on it, partially because the stories span such a length of time in the developing talent of Marquez.
Overall, it was a pleasure to read but I can't say that I was blown away like I was by some of the other stuff I've read recently. The stories did have their wonderful moments, but they were diffuse and not quite as discrete-blow-to-the-cranium as the best ones are. The book felt weird, but too comfortable for my taste. Maybe it's because today's authors have already digested and iterated on Marquez's style, but the whole experience felt like I was reading something I'd seen somewhere else. I can understand why my friend Maggie so eagerly pushed it on me, but the effect was more of recognizing why it's good, not feeling why it's good. ( )
  gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
This started out barely a 1 star book, and has caused me to rethink my penchant for reading authors' output from first published text to last. The first story in this collection was written when the author was just nineteen and his inexperience shows. While there is obvious talent, and beauty, in the writing, the stories are tortuously dull and self-indulgent. Only with the most poorly-written text books have I previously had the experience of my head hurting, my chest constricting with a type of bad writing-induced anxiety and my eyes seeming to continually slide off the page, unable to focus. I tried to persevere, but after three and a bit soul-destroying stories I gave up on the first collection and skipped ahead to the second. The improvement was marked and the standard got better and better as the stories unfolded, with the third and final collection being an absolute delight: brilliant and enthralling. I will certainly be reading Gabriel García Márquez again, but will give his very early works a wide berth. ( )
  Vivl | Apr 5, 2013 |
Love in a time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of my all time favourite books but I really struggled with this collection of his short stories. Perhaps it's a lost in translation issue because his great themes of life and death were there, as is his vivid imagination and beautiful descriptive powers, but only a few of the stories were an enjoyable read and the others I ploughed through waiting for the next good one. Glad I read it, but wouldn't re-read. ( )
  lettice | Jan 21, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gabriel García Márquezprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bernstein, J.S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rabassa, GregoryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This work is for editions collecting the 26 stories from Eyes of a Blue Dog, Big Mama's Funeral, and The Incredible and Sad Tale of lnnocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060932686, Paperback)

Collected here are twenty-six of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's most brilliant and enchanting short stories, presented in the chronological order of their publication in Spanish from three volumes: Eyes of a Blue Dog,Big Mama's Funeral, and The Incredible and Sad Tale of lnnocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother. Combining mysticism, history, and humor, the stories in this collection span more than two decades, illuminating the development of Marquez's prose and exhibiting the themes of family, poverty, and death that resound throughout his fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:36 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Twenty-six stories by the 1982 Nobel laureate, dating from 1947, reveal the dimensions of reality, life's mysteries and miracles, and the unexpected ironies, tragedies, and humors of human behavior .

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.99)
0.5 1
1 1
1.5 1
2 9
2.5 5
3 33
3.5 11
4 60
4.5 10
5 67

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 133,421,640 books! | Top bar: Always visible