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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 14 (next | show all)
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 |
Fascinating, yet thoroughly repugnant. This is my reaction to much of Marquez’s work. THE PATRIARCH is especially distasteful due to the title character’s hideous psychology and, even more so, his heinous actions. A question that logically follows is: Do we gain insight on totalitarianism by paying aesthetic attention to such details as the serial rape of schoolgirls that occupies the Patriarch’s declining years? Is there something meaningful to learn from his extreme abuse of power? Marquez’s fans are legion, so no doubt the consensus reply would be “Yes.” For me, fascination tied with repugnance. I agree with those who find his renditions sexist, although he clearly puts denigration in the service of illuminating the festering sores in human institutions.

Fascinating, but not for everyone.
( )
  AnesaMiller | Jan 17, 2014 |

This was... a strange book. It was the first book I read by this author, and my enjoyment of the first part suffered while I didn't get used to the style - sentences that extend across several pages, the heavy comma use, and frequent change of the narrating voice midsentence were some of the aspects I found most noticeable. This style reminds me much of the one used by Saramago.

We start by being presented with the people who found the General's lifeless body, and we are then offered insight about his life. We jump back and forth across time, after his death and during his life, and there isn't a conductive thread or a main story in a way. This book feels to me like a portrait of this main character, the General, the main theme in the foreground. Behind that, the portrait of a dictatorship of the worst kind: its effect on the population, the crushing of rebellion, the scheming of people in power, and the control/subjugation of the masses.

I didn't find this book to be a page turner. In fact, after I put it down I didn't feel that urge to pick it up to carry on with the story. The extremely long sentences propelled me foward for lack of a convenient place to stop to be honest. I had trouble getting through the first part of the book. After the middle though, I started to feel drawn to it, mostly due to this character of the General, so dispicable, so delusional at times, and yet, so human in a strange way. I was both disgusted by him, horrified at his actions, and pittied him at the same time.
While I didn't feel drawn to the story overall, I really liked the portrait of the characters, and the focus given to fears that are very much human.

( )
  something_ | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gabriel García Márquezprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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.

» see all 4 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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