Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the king of magic realism, some real magic
Having read The General in his Labyrinth for the

fourth time, I am still amazed by the story, and

way it is told.

This is the story of the last days of Simon Bolivar

the liberator of South America.He is dying of consumption,

old before his time. He leads a sad and noble group of loyal soldiers

and...
Published on 4 Aug 1997

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attempts Majesty but Lacks the Magic
Many of the reviewers here are enchanted by this book; I must offer a hesitant appreciation. It seems to lack the magic and grace of some of his other works; perhaps the ultimate reality of Bolivar stymies the great author. It is worth a read, but only if you have a great interest in the subject matter of the author.
Published on 17 Jun 1999


Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the king of magic realism, some real magic, 4 Aug 1997
By A Customer
Having read The General in his Labyrinth for the

fourth time, I am still amazed by the story, and

way it is told.

This is the story of the last days of Simon Bolivar

the liberator of South America.He is dying of consumption,

old before his time. He leads a sad and noble group of loyal soldiers

and retainers through the wilds of Nueva Granada. There is no

hope - the General is not wanted any more, having watched the

liberated continent fall in upon itself and fragment. Having

taught the people separatism, the tired General is powerless

to stop the inevitable.

And so the journey proceeds, punctuated by heat, torrential rain,

fever, delirium, memories of great loves, and despair. The General's

state of mind is conveyed to the reader in the minutest detail. We are

shown the destruction and self-destruction of a once powerful

man,and the effect is one of witnessing death itself, with

its mystifying loss of personality.

Bolivar rants in fevers, paces the floor unable to sleep, and talks

of the agony of assassination attempts, treacherous infighting, a fickle

public, and memories of strong women.He goes from town to town

with his entourage,in turn feted or reviled according to local

faction.

He has the protective love of his closest generals, and the dignified

devotion of his servant Jose Palacios to comfort him on his seemingly

ignoble flight.But this journey is the only possible end for a man of

such brilliant but caustic powers.It gives him and us time to think

about the real nature of power, achievement, history and fate.And the

unstated conclusion the General reaches is that even those blessed

with power and influence, even the most rigorous souls will come

to an inevitable stop that will seem at the time to be just like

any other "damn business".

Bolivar says "I'm old, sick, tired, disillusioned,

harassed, slandered and unappreciated" and "despair

is the health of the damned".When at last death

overtakes the General, Marquez closes his story with one

of the most moving scenes I have read in any novel.

("...the heartless speed of the octagonal clock racing

toward the ineluctable appointment at seven minutes past one..")

People who know Marquez for the "magic" novels may be

wonderfully surprised by this exquisitely written book.

The people, the skies, the rains, the nature, the loves

and the sorrows in this book are chillingly real.

Its beauty quite literally haunts me.
Anthony Nelson
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Man: And A Masterful Blending of Fact and Fiction, 24 Jun 1997
By A Customer
With the style and eloquent language that earned him the Nobel prize for literature, Marquez weaves a stunning story of glory and despair. Both real history and Marquez' imagination let us enter the world of Simon Bolivar, Liberator of South America, in all his humanity - good and evil.

Bolivar drove the Spanish out of South America, dealt with treachery from his own compatriots. Once hailed as a hero, he is now scorned and reviled, and fighting his own demons, he refuses to die quietly.

We are given a glimpse of the genius and foibles of the man behind the legend, as we accompany him on his last journey, accompanied only by the loyal remants of his once great army.

It is almost guaranteed that after reading this book you will want to travel to South America and to read more about the places and colorful characters who come to life in this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attempts Majesty but Lacks the Magic, 17 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Many of the reviewers here are enchanted by this book; I must offer a hesitant appreciation. It seems to lack the magic and grace of some of his other works; perhaps the ultimate reality of Bolivar stymies the great author. It is worth a read, but only if you have a great interest in the subject matter of the author.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last 223 Days in the Life of Bolivar, The Liberator, 5 Aug 1998
By A Customer
From his leaving Bogota in a misty dawn, the mules, the solitude, the little convoy, with Palacios, his black butler, and his faithful Irish aids de camp. To the San Pedro Alejandrino Villa, venue of his death, [and his last letter to Fanny], his recognition, in letter to Urdaneta, of grave error in having fought General Santander. It has a valuable Succint Cronology. It contains Miranda Lindsay, a novel by itself. Bolivar himself would have cried reading this masterful if sad account of his sad last days.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of context required for the non South American, 22 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I found the books concept very fascinating. The last few weeks of a mighty leader who liberated South America from the Spanish colonists but than list it all to his own trusted aids in just over a decade! I saw huge similarities between the general and Pakistan's founding father Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Jinnah rapidly lost favour among his peers and subordinates soon after creating Pakistan from the clutches of Hindu domination.
But I found the book difficult to follow as I knew very little about the various characters portrayed in the book, his many lover affairs and his litany of success's and failures. The book drags on and on as the general tries to die honourably but very similar non-events keep haunting him, like dreams and hallucinations. For me the book could have a lot smaller.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Power and politics, 18 Sep 2012
By 
Fictionalised account of the months following Simon Bolivar's renunciation of the Presidency of Colombia. Events from the General's climb to power and achievement of his political ambitions are chronicled, together with detailed accounts of his state of health and relations with his retinue. Worthy insights into power and politics but lacking in sparkle, however.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The General in His Labyrinth
The General in His Labyrinth by Garcia Marques (Hardcover - Sep 1990)
Used & New from: 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews