Chronicle of a death foretold – Review

Title: Chronicle of a Death Foretold (original Spanish title: Crónica de una muerte anunciada)

Author:  Gabriel Garcia Marquez

              Ali’s pick

Handsome and mysterious Bayardo San Roman arrives to a small South American coastal town and soon he earns the respect of its people and ends up impressing and marrying the gorgeous Angela Vicario.

Their wedding is the talk of the town, and everyone is invited to the ceremony. Same night, hours later after the music and the songs died down, the bride is returned by the groom back to her family in a dishonourable manner. The mother beats her mercilessly before breaking the news to the rest of the family. After being questioned by her two brothers, Angela discloses the identity of the man who brought dishonour upon her family—the Arab Santiago Nassar. This leaves her brothers with no choice but commit the unquestionable. They decided to kill him to wash away the shame and re-establish family honour. As a first step to put their plan into motion, the brothers spread the news about the unavoidable and approaching murder of Santiago, and in no time the whole town knows.

If you have read a Gabriel Garcia Marquez book before, this will not disappoint, and if you haven’t you will be an instant fan. He has a beautiful skill in pointing out the absurdities in everyday life, and weaves a surreal atmosphere even when writing about seemingly realistic events. This novel left me with a sense of unease throughout, and as it unfolds I was never quite sure if anyone was telling the truth, especially Angela.  The question is whether she was telling the truth, or is Nassar a scapegoat?