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The General in His Labyrinth

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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Collections

The General in His Labyrinth

By Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edith Grossman

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Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Published In: United States, 01 October 2003
General Simon Bolivar, “the Liberator” of five South American countries, takes a last melancholy journey down the Magdalena River, revisiting cities along its shores, and reliving the triumphs, passions, and betrayals of his life. Infinitely charming, prodigiously successful in love, war and politics, he still dances with such enthusiasm and skill that his witnesses cannot believe he is ill. Aflame with memories of the power that he commanded and the dream of continental unity that eluded him, he is a moving exemplar of how much can be won—and lost—in a life.

About the Author

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born in Colombia in 1927. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. He is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love In The Time Cholera, The Autumn Of The Patriarch, The General In His Labyrinth, and News Of A Kidnapping. He died in 2014."


Written in cogent, measured prose, moving to a somber internal rhythm, this short, historically based novel depicts the last days of Simon Bolivar, aka the Liberator of South America. Aged 46 in 1830, prematurely aged, weary and moribund, the General (as he is referred to throughout), once the hero and president of the republic of nations he freed from Spanish domination, is now past his glory. He is wandering destitute, having renounced the presidency and announced his imminent exile--an act he keeps postponing in the hopes that he will be returned to power. Widely reviled, the object of assassination attempts, suffering from chronic insomnia and daily fevers, the General is cynical, bitter and mercurial, frustrated by his failing powers but unable to face his impending death (``How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!'' he cries). In flashbacks that integrate capsule portraits of other historical figures important in Bolivar's life, Garcia Marquez invests the narrative with substance and veracity, but finds little opportunity to unleash his remarkable imagination; thus the novel lacks the incandescent quality of One Hundred Years of Solitude and other of his works of magical realism. The author himself regrets the lack of humor in what he refers to as ``the horror of this book.'' Readers will be impressed, but not beguiled. 150,000 first printing; first serial to the New Yorker; BOMC main selection. (Sept.)

A fascinating tour de force and a moving tribute to an extraordinary man --Margaret Atwood, The New York Times Book Review A distinguished book. . . . Garcia Marquez splendidly presents his image of Latin America and of a great man redux. --Los Angeles Times Book Review A stunning portrait, convincing and poignant. . . . A tour de force. --San Francisco Chronicle Passage after passage shines with the brilliance of Mr. Garcia Marquez. . . . He has invented some of the magic characters of our age. His general, however, is not only magic, but real. --The Wall Street Journal As usual, Garcia Marquez s craftsmanship is nothing less than superb. His General s story is tragic; his telling of it is luminous. --The Dallas Morning News"

EAN: 9781400034703
ISBN: 1400034701
Publisher: Vintage
Dimensions: 20.52 x 13.46 x 1.65 centimetres (0.24 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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