Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New Ed edition (27 Jun 1996)
Translator: Edith Grossman
Category(ies): Magical realism
Set in the mid 18th Century, this novel takes place in an unspecified Latin American port, one to which the annual Galleon Fleet is a visitor, and one in which the Marquis of Caselduero (and Lord of Darien) and his wife Bernarda are somehow raising their 12 year old daughter. Or rather, the household slaves are raising the daughter, teaching her their various African languages and other skills, because her parents pay her as little attention as they pay each other. When she gets bitten by a dog that proves to have rabies, it starts a whole set of events that leads to her death.
García Márquez is the master of a lethargic prose. Somehow, everything slowly runs down, even the most noble of initiatives leads to nothing, and in the end, the best one can expect is a quiet death. Perhaps one particular snippet can give a flavour of this:
He stood without haste, put the chair back in its place, and left the way he had come, not saying goodbye and not carrying a light. All that remained of him — a skeleton eaten away by turkey buzzards — was found two summers later on a path leading nowhere.Brief, yet complete.