Review: Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Title: Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Author: Gabriel García Márquez
Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★½

A sense of amazement struck me when within a few pages Santiago Nasar was murdered by the Vicario brothers who were seeking vengeance for the honor of their sister. Quite opposed to a murder fiction where the murderer is to be identified throughout the book, this story was about the subjective interpolation of the murder rather than the objective event. Did Santiago actually deflowered Angela hours before her wedding or was he just at the wrong place at the wrong time? Was he actually guilty or a victim of circumstantial evidence? The ambiguity remained with me till the end as I barreled through the pages of this book.

García Márquez has a unique talent for presenting narratives which touches the larger picture than the story. In this book, the reconstruction of history remains prominently questionable which is premised upon interpretation in absence of any foolproof evidence corroborating the events. This book is a non-linear narrative which questions the absolute nature of the factual details as the same episode is narrated differently by different people. The entire village was aware of the killing of Santiago yet everybody took it jokingly and didn’t feel the need to warn the victim. Everybody presented a different account of the perfectly planned murder committed in the open thus proving that no viable method exists in which history can be recorded in its full accuracy.

The beauty of this book is that the novel exhibited the nature of layered memory structure, a memory within a memory connecting the dots of a historical event. The concept of time is collectively constructed as the novel introspects the uncanny factuality of history. This is a quick read and it took a few hours to go through the entire book because the plot was gripping enough to make me anxiously bite my nails till the end. I enjoyed the plot line especially the writing style of the book rather than the individual characters. For me, the characters could have been more relatable however it was positively overshadowed by the powerful narration. 

If you like to travel through time and space scratching your head to find the truth behind the death so foretold, this book is definitely worth a read.

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