‘A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

(book review)

His only supernatural virtue seemed to be patience.

‘A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings’ by Columbian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the bright example of magic realism. The writer combines reality and magic so that the boundaries between them are almost invisible. The story is written for children, but it is widely read by adults.

The book tells the story of an angel who one day appears in the village and the life of the family Pelayo. During a storm, Pelayo and his wife Elisenda find an old man in their yard who is hampered in the mud by his huge wings. The neighbor woman lets them know it is an angel. Yes, he has wings, but he looks like a beggar, speaking on a weird language. The villagers perceive the guest as a mystery. They want miracles and healings. Pelayo earns money on the demonstration, but “the angel was the only one who took no part in his own act.” It is humorous that the only “miracles” attributed to the old man have nothing to do with the ailments the people want to be healed.  An old man with еnormous wings is an example of a miracle that no one understood.

The story of а girl who had been changed into a spider for having disobeyed her parents, is also magical. Her fate attracted more attention than an angel. She knows how to speak with audience, so “a spectacle like that, full of so much human truth and with such a fearful lesson” has brilliant popularity. Another example of weird person is a Portuguese man who couldn’t sleep because the noise of the stars disturbing him. It sounds odd, because it is not likely that someone would be unable to sleep because of the noise of the stars. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, combining humor and magic, laughs of “clever” people.

‘A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings’ is a realistic story about a miracle that people are not ready to accept. This story made me think about human nature, which is constantly in search of enrichment. I want to offer the book to everybody, because it is really excellent. And ask yourself a question, “Am I ready to accept an angel?”

My rating is 4,5/5.

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