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The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel…

The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975)

by Gabriel García Márquez

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This is a very complex novel and a bit hard to understand because of it's unconventional structure. The sentences are formed with thought after thought and run-on sometimes for a page or two switching from first person to third person. It is full of symbolic description which makes the meaning hard to grasp and should be studied instead of read as a normal novel. I recommend this tale of an immortal and despicable Caribbean tyrant If you are a fan of stream-of-conscious writing otherwise be prepared for challenging read. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
The Autumn of the Patriach Gabriel Garcia Marquez

206 pages

Contains sex, violence and torture

At only 206 pages you would have thought this would be a quick read but no, it is not possible to read this book quickly for 2 reasons;

1) Each paragraph is approximately 30 pages long so when you pick this book up you are commiting to reading at least that much, there is very little punctuation, the text is small and there are no natural breaks in the text to allow your eyes a rest.

2) The story jumps from past to present to future with no warning and the narrator regulary changes within the space of a single sentence, to keep track you really need to concentrate, in fact the earlier writing makes no sense until you have finished the whole book and can go back to the beginning knowing what the story is actually about.

OK so now we have the negatives out the way lets move onto what the book is about;

The story is an account of the life of the Patriach a dictator running an unnamed South American country known by the people as the general several myths have built up over his life, like how old he really is, the story gives various viewpoints of his rule including his own.

While the General believes he acts in the best interest of his people coming to his notice can be deadly, even his "friends" are not safe, when upset he can inflict banishment, torture or death.

For me the quote that best sums out his total power and his removal from reality is;

"within a maximum of forty eight hours you find him alive and bring him to me and if you find him dead bring him to me alive and if you don't find him bring him to me"

When you read the story closely you can see parallels with real dictators like Sadam Hussien and Bashar al Assad.

Once you get down into the actual story this is an interesting look at not only life under a dictator but also life as a dictator however this is a book that requires commitment and a lot of concentration.

I think it deserves it place on the list of 1001 books for the content and writing, however I will be over the moon if the writing style remains the preserve of Gabriel Garcia Marquez soley.

  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
This is definitely not an easy read - mostly written in chapter length paragraphs and sentences running over several pages, and deliberately rambling, digressive and repetitive. However, after a while it becomes quite hypnotic, full of fascinating detail and reflective of the state of mind of the aged and increasingly lonely dictator at its heart, who is portrayed mercilessly and with the surreal exaggeration familiar from Márquez's other works. This is not a book I would recommend to newcomers to his work - 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera are more accessible. ( )
  bodachliath | Nov 4, 2014 |
Autumn of the Patriarch: Garcia Marquez deep inside the mind of a dying Latin tyrant. ( )
  schmicker | Apr 19, 2014 |
The most difficult of his books I've read so far, but very rewarding. I agree with another user's review that this has a hypnotic feel to it. A dreamy-like quality. I dozed and fell in and out of consciousness as I read. But it is purely beautiful. ( )
  aviechu | Mar 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gabriel García Márquezprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cicogna, EnricoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feinberg, SidneyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rabassa, GregoryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saaritsa, PenttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabarte Belacortu, MarioleinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segre, CesareForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside, and at dawn on Monday the city awoke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060882867, Paperback)

One of Gabriel García Márquez's most intricate and ambitious works, The Autumn of the Patriarch is a brilliant tale of a Caribbean tyrant and the corruption of power.

From charity to deceit, benevolence to violence, fear of God to extreme cruelty, the dictator of The Autumn of the Patriarch embodies the best and the worst of human nature. Gabriel García Márquez, the renowned master of magical realism, vividly portrays the dying tyrant caught in the prison of his own dictator-ship. Employing an innovative, dreamlike style, and overflowing with symbolic descriptions, the novel transports the reader to a world that is at once fanciful and real.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The discovery of a South American dictator's rotting corpse in the deserted tangle of his crumbling palace prompts a search through his past and a chronicle of his progression from popular, beloved, unafraid ruler to isolated, frightened despot.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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