Monthly Archives: August 2014
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
ISBN No. 9780140157543
No. of Pages: 122 Pages
My Rating: 4/5
In a very jolly stance Santiago Nasar leaves his bed 5:30 in the morning to greet the boat in which the bishop was about to arrive. Santiago, in order to control is headache approaches Placide Linero, his mother, to get an aspirin. Santiago who was killed on the very same day, is the only child of Ibrahim Nasar and Placide Linero. After Ibrahim’s death Santiago abandoned his studies to take over the inheritance profit in form of a Ranch. Victoria Guzman, the cook and her daughter, Divana Flor were at their relevance in their house as servants. Both of them had heard the rumours about his death but were not certain and for the very same reason they did not made the indispensable conversation rolling and moreover no one glimpsed the message in the form of an envelope under the door informing Santiago about his coming death. Santiago leaves the house when he hears the voice of a the bishop’s steamboat.
Two men or brothers, Pedro Vicario and Pablo Vicario, wearing their dark wedding suits with knives wrapped in newspaper are waiting at the local milk shop to kill Santiago Nasar. The crowd assembles and wait for the bishop with amassed roosters and firewood to give to Father Carmen Amador but he does not get off the boat and passes away standing on the deck of the boat. The narrtor’s sister, Margot invite Santiago to her house for breakfast and after accepting the invitation he prefers to go home first to change his outfit. Everone ruminates that Nasar is aware about the deadly warning and thus does not discuss it elaborately with each other and ironically with Santiago. Margot discovers the incident about the first wedding night of Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman and when she reaches her home she narrates the same to her mother and Luisa, her mother promptly makes a verdict to inform Placida but someone running by update her that he has already been killed.
Since Gabriel Garsia Marquez has embellished the story in non linear form, the second chapter of the book starts with the narration of 30 years old Bayardo San Roman who appears in the story in the month of August to marry a girl and eventually finds Angela Vicario six months before their marriage and Santiago’s death. He starts to establish a good rapport with the Vicario family and specially with his desired spouse but Angela Vicario who is the youngest and prettiest member of Vicario family does not show any interest in him and their engagement lasts for only four months. Bayardo asks Angela what house she likes best, and she replies that she liked the farmhouse belonging to the widower Xius. The widower initially does not show any interest in the agreement but Bayardo keeps offering more and more money until Xius gives up. They get married and on the very first night of their wedding Bayardo discovers that his wife in no virgin and this gives a traumatic shock to him. He takes her spouse to Pura Vicario at eleven o’clock in the night to Pura Vicario and she beats her without any mercy to know the violator whom she names Santiago Nasar. The two Vicario brothers takes a prompt verdict to kill Nasar and leaves the house in their dark wedding suits itself.
The two brothers with two knives wrapped in newspaper goes to Clothilde Armenta’s milk shop, which was near Santiago’s house, to wait for him to come out. In the meat market, Faustino Santos, a butcher talks to them about the wedding and there Pablo proclaims that they are going to kill Santiago Nasar but since of their good image no one pays any meticulous attention to them and considers it as the alcohol effect on the Vicario brothers. A police officer casually comes to the butcher’s shop after they depart and he then narrates the conversation to the officer. Bad destiny prevails for Santiago and he goes to sleep before the bishop arrives while everyone goes to fetch breakfast for them.
The Mayor orders Father Carmen Amador to perform the autopsy on Santiago since Doctor Dionisio Iguaran is absent and they do it at the public school with the bid of a druggist and a medical student. After anatomizing the dead body, Vicario brothers are placed behind bars and Pablo Vicario gets into a serious case. And thus, the complete Vicario family migrates the hamlet, they wrap the face of their youngest daughter so that the scars of beating on her skin does not become a sensation in the town. The Vicario brothers are to a prison in Riohacha. After three years, Pablo Vicario is released out of jail and gets married to Prudencia Cotes. Life do justice to him and he later becomes a goldsmith after learning the metal work while the other brother goes back to the armed force. The narrator’s family goes to Guarija to meet Angela where she died as an embroiderer. The narrator ask Angela about Santiago Nasar and is astonished that the whole town remained unaware of their love affair. Angela wrote to Bayardo a weekly letter for seventeen years and one day he arrives with a suitcase filled with all her love of letters that she had send to him. They were all sealed and unopened 😦 The mayor goes to check Bayardo San Roman a week after the murder and finds him lying in his bed in an unconscious state with liquor smell all around. Petronio San Roman with his wife later takes Bayardo in a boat. The narrator learns that Angela after she was carried to the new home starts loving Bayardo and also reveals that she was crying for him when her mother thrashed her and not because of any physical pain.
In the last and fifth chapter of the book, chronicle of a death foretold, twelve days after Santiago’s death, the investigating magistrate arrives and he remains astonished that there is not a clue that Santiago Nasar has taken Angela Vicario’s virginity. Angela herself never specified how and where but said that he was the violator. In the last chapter you’ll encounter many twist and turns of this non linear book. Santiago, finally get the news of his future killing by Nahir Miguel, father of his fiancée (Flora Miguel) but he fails to comprehend it and said, “I don’t understand a god-damned thing”.
Chronicle of a death foretold was first published in Spanish in 1981 and after two years it was translated in English language. The story was good but the way of writing the story amazed me more. The book is written in non linear form, you may find it difficult to comprehend the story initially but concentration is the key, I feel. I did not encountered with the problem of non linearity as I have already read such books, for example, The God Of Small Things, Heat And Dust etc. One more notable feature of the book was the number of pages, only 122 pages and thus, I completed it in eight hours.