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The Autumn of the Patriarch (International Writers) Paperback – 29 Feb 1996


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (29 Feb 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140157530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140157536
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,211,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
OVER THE WEEKEND the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside, and at dawn on Monday the city awoke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 July 1998
Format: Paperback
The Autumn of the Patriarch is perhaps one of the greatest works of literary artistry of the twentieth century and certainly one of his most innovative works, but most likely it won't appeal to the general reader because of its unconventional structure. The main character, a tyrant of a small country, is the only 'real' character in this book, in that being the supreme leader and dictator of his world and all that surrounds him, he 'owns' all that the novel encompasses, yet his comprehension of life is riddled within a strange shroud of misguided purpose and a directionless ego. Marquez distorts the boundaries in many aspects of his writing structure so that it seems a blending of actions and thoughts that are being portrayed in order to show with full effect this dictators life through all characters and descriptions, sometimes switching between first and third person within the same sentence, giving a sense of the often displaced and cold objectivity of this man. There is an interesting contrast here, as his world is a concentricity of solitude and paranoia, yet a free and rich world grows around him that he seems to never really be able to touch. This book is confusing to many people upon their first reaction, because it is a work of multi-faceted characteristics, packed with symbolic despcription and living sentences, all coming together to create a very unique work. This novel should, perhaps, be absorbed more than studied, as you can spend a lot of time trying to figure out the structure of it in order to form a linear perspective of what you are reading, but it's probably a waste of time once you realize that everything presented here lends to the broader environment instead of single plot turns or actions.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By sibslock on 25 Feb 2002
Format: Paperback
As a fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez it was with determination that I explored this book, with its lack of full-stops and rambling narrative. I have read it many times, and it is only now that I fully appreciate it. The story weaves through time and needs the extra read throughs before you can put all events together in your head, to give an overall picture of the incredible life that is being unravelled by the book. Like all his books it has the air of a dream world that is closely connected to our reality but allows you to suspend disbelief and live somewhere else for a while. It is definately a demanding book to read, but well worth the effort when you finally get to grips with what the author wants to protray to you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback
G.G. Márquez's book is a written version of a polyptych by Hieronymus Bosch on the universal theme of `Evil' (on a moral, personal, political, social, economical or psychological level).
The main character in this book is a solitary despot.
His `regime of infamy' is an avalanche of killings, summary executions, massacres, suicides, cruelties, tortures, horror laboratories, expulsions, explosions, illnesses, plagues, obscenities, perversions, depravations, rapes, promiscuities, corruptions, hallucinations, evil omens, doubles, apparitions, filths, putrefactions, stenches, pestilential vapors, false messages, fictionalized photographs, physical deformities, alleged miracles, bird and child cries.
His most scorned enemies are men of letters, `worse than politicians, worse than priests.'

This forceful and relentless stream of (sur)real visions and violent images is a must read for all G.G. Márquez fans and for all lovers of world literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 May 1999
Format: Paperback
When I first began reading this book I must admit that I was confused by the stream of conciousness and one sentence chapters. But what a treat it was! It's rare the book that makes you stop to re-read a phrase to yourself while you exclaim, "Wow!" I recommend this book to anyone who has read Gabriel Garcia before. If not, read One hundred Years of Solitude before you pick this one up. You won't regret it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jan 1999
Format: Paperback
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel, The Autumn of the Patriarch, threw me into the sea to which he constantly referred to. The frustration in the beginning gradually swept over me, just enough so that I was able to enjoy the content of the book. Placing me in the twisted world of a disillusioned government official did more than shock me. It intrigued me, forced me to consider the world outside of my own, and tossed me into the tidal wave of symbolism, metaphor, and stream-of-conscious sentence structure. I recommend this book so that you, the reader, are able to touch upon this story that shocked the literary world beyond its wildest imagination.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Aug 1998
Format: Paperback
Beware, those of you who have not read a Gabriel Garcia Marquez book yet! The style and literary techniques employed by the venerable author here are not, at first, user-friendly. In place of a sequence of actions, a run-on assault of descriptions tell the tale of a seemingly immortal yet completely despicable Caribbean tyrant. Sentences last for pages, each chapter is but one paragraph, the narrative perspective changes in mid-sentence, etc: This anti-traditional approach proves to be extremely rewarding, I felt the ending was even better than the build-up. Worthy of a score of Doctorate theses--but none by my hand. Upon finishing this book you will be awakened to a unique artistic literary style by one of the century's greatest authors--then go out and buy yourself some more Marquez novels. The more straightforward "General in his Labyrinth" and the illustrious "100 Years of Solitude" I also highly recommend.
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