‘No one writes to colonel’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

(Book review)

5 stars. Despair. Despair in an unnamed gloomy and rainy country of Latin America. Just an old man, a hero of a revolution, has forgotten by his government. His son was killed by a police officer for the spreading of an opposition newspaper.

Now he’s trying to survive and earn some money, waiting for his pension, but no one writes to the Colonel. “Shit…After living for seventy-five years, he decides to give up hope.” This quotation characterizes the life of the former military man in the most comprehensive way.

It’s a short story with a lack of action, nothing but a beggarly life of an old Colonel and his asthmatic wife. Despite the absence of dynamics, it gives a very vivid picture of Latin America with all its ambiguity. Marquez reveals to us such social and political issues of his country as poverty, political censorship and corruption.

Marquez was inspired by another great author — Hemingway. ‘No one writes to the Colonel’ is similar to ‘The Old Man and the Sea’. It’s both about strong man fighting and living in the harsh world. And the writing style of both books is similar — a little bit dry, without remarkable stylistic devices. But this dryness is surprisingly emotional and powerful. The story has open-ended final, so-called cliffhanger? That will leave you with very strong feelings. Though the book is too gloomy, I do recommend you to read it. Dramatic stories could teach us not less that the stories with happy ends.

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