Book Review: Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Santiago Nasar is to die, to pay with his life for his crime, and the twin brothers of Angela Vicario will make him pay. The whole town knows this will happen and why, but no one steps forward to prevent it. Why?
This book has a fascinating premise but just fails to follow through with it. The problem lies at the heart of this novel; its structure makes for a cold and distant storytelling. It is narrated by a nameless narrator who has returned to the area twenty-seven years after the murder of Santiago Nasar. It is through this narrator’s eyes that we see everything, but he wasn’t present when Santiago Nasar died and is relying on second-hand and third-hand accounts.
The narrator is a cold and emotionless character and filtering this story through his eyes makes this an equally cold and emotionless story. We are told what the characters did, what physical actions they took, but we are not informed of their motivations or their feelings. We never get under the skin of any of the characters here.
This could have been a fascinating read, exploring the emotions and motives of the people who did nothing as they watched a man walk to his death. This novel could have got under the skin of the characters waiting to murder Santiago Nasar. We could have even seen events from his point of view. Instead we had none of that, which left me so uninvolved with this story.
I know this book is called a modern classic but I found it a very cold and unsatisfying read, and this book could have been so much more.
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