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Strange Pilgrims [Paperback]

Gabriel Marquez
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 4 1994 Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century
The Nobel Prize-winning author of Love in the Time of Cholera presents a collection of twelve stories that feature an aging streetwalker and her gravesite-mourning dog, a bereaved father's journey to Rome, a paranoid husband, and more. Reprint. AB. K.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In 12 poignant stories, Garcia Marquez describes the turbulent lives of Latin Americans adrift in Europe.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The Nobel prize-winning author Garcia Marquez has collected a dozen of his stories about Latin Americans in Europe, most of which, although magical, end on an unsettling note. Thus, an expatriate ex-president is recognized by an ambulance driver bent on exploitation; a man travels from Colombia to Rome with a cello case to see the pope; a woman with car trouble finds herself trapped in a mental institution; a prostitute plans her funeral. The plots are simple, but the character study and use of language is incisive. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/93.
- Ann Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Md.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
HE SAT ON a wooden bench under the yellow leaves in the deserted park, contemplating the dusty swans with both his hands resting on the silver handle of his cane, and thinking about death. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The twilight zones of Garcia Marquez Jan. 29 2001
As I read "Strange Pilgrims," the collection of short stories by Colombian-born Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I was reminded of the classic television series "The Twilight Zone." Like some of the best episodes in that series, many of the stories in "Strange Pilgrims" are rich in irony and psychological intrigue, and incorporate elements of the macabre and the fantastic. And many of the stories have twist endings. This collection has been translated into English by Edith Grossman.
These stories deal with Latin Americans on voyages, for various reasons, to Europe. The book thus has a trans-Atlantic, international feel. Highlights of the collection include "Bon Voyage, Mr. President," about a deposed head of state seeking medical attention in Switzerland; "The Saint," a supernatural tale of a father seeking canonization of his daughter from the Pope; the creepy "The Ghosts of August"; and the grotesque "Seventeen Poisoned Englishmen."
Throughout the book Garcia Marquez presents many images that are beautiful or disturbing, but often memorable: a drowned man floating with "a fresh gardenia in his lapel," a moray eel nailed to a door, a bedspread stiff with the dried blood from a murder. An added bonus is the appearance of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda as a fictional character in one of the tales. "Strange Pilgrims" is a varied collection of weird treats from a master storyteller.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Soaring With Garcia-Marquez Dec 7 1998
By A Customer
An incredibly inventive and thought-provoking collection, "Strange Pilgrims" is reminiscent of Milan Kundera's "Book Of Laughter and Forgetting", as well as Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried". Constructed as interweaving short stories, these twelve misfit pieces all deal with moving themes: loneliness, death, travel, the otherworldly nostalgia that these phenomena provoke, and ultimately the sadness of being lost in your own experiences. Like Kundera's "Laughter and Forgetting", "Strange Pilgrims" does not attempt to draw lucid conclusions between its seemingly unrelated characters. Instead, Garcia-Marquez simply allows the reader to develop his own relationship to the text. At times, "Strange Pilgrims" achieves what Garcia-Marquez so eloquently refers to when speaking of writing in the book's introduction-"the closest a human can get to the experirence of levitation." Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, difficult to forget Feb. 16 2003
In twelve short stories, Garcia Marquez proves that he is not only capable of writing deeply, he is capable of writing concisely. The stories in this book are extremely thought provoking, relating to the human spirit and little oddities about people.
There is one story in particular that I will not forget. It is about a woman who gets stranded with a flat tire, and hitches a ride with a bus to a mental institution. The story unfolds from there, and I don't think I have ever felt so deeply troubled by a single story like I was in this case. Of the twelve stories, I liked 8 or 9, the others were a little boring (or maybe I did not get them). I highly recommend it, especially for those who do not have the patience to read GM's "One Hundred Years of SOlitude" and would like an intro to the author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and Engaging Aug. 2 2000
By chris
I will be brief in praising this book. Gabriel García Márquez is the most celebrated and BELOVED novelist in the Spanish language since Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. If you have not read him before, YOU SHOULD! But enough of the "good medicine" talk. García Márquez is entertaining. In these stories you will be witness to strange events told with a straight face, and in achingly beautiful prose. A woman's hand trailing blood in the snow, a lovely, sleeping beauty on board a plane, a man in Rome with a small coffin containing his daughter's body... These stories have a light touch-- they get your interest and entertain you! No need for me to go on... check it out for yourself!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eerily wonderful June 24 2003
Although these stories were at time confusing, I kept feeling like I needed to read them again. Each time I finished a story, I felt like the characters needed to be heard over and over, that if I closed the book, their individual fears would take over them. It is rare that books can convince you of a fictional character's reality. I read this book for a summer reading project going into 12th grade and wondered after finishing it 'why did they wait so long to assign this? Why didn't I read it on my own?' Awesome book, definitely a must-read.
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By A Customer
True to form, Marquez writes beautifully. He is blunt with his words in such a way that ties them together purely. You feel as though you are in the stories, not simply imagining them. In a way, these stories are like a good mystery or even horror film; you know something isn't quite clear, yet you continue to watch because it all comes together in the right way. These stories leave you with a just a bit more insight into people and human nature. They leave you satisfied, which, in my opinion, is the sure sign of great writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marquez Hooked Me With This One Sept. 13 2000
First book I ever read by GGM, and it packed a whallop!
Here are stories that seem to prove that to be human is to be in touch with magic. His voice is like no one else's, like some kind of rebel or radical, free of the constraints of society. I was refreshed by his individuality, his rather sweetly humorous take on the tragic foibles of man.
After this, I read almost everything else he authored. I encourage all readers to get this book and read it now!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I read this collection probably almost 10 years ago and I still remember details of many of the stories. My favorite is the one in the airplane. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Anon
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
The stories in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's book are so beautiful. He has managed to write stories about things that people go through in life but in a way that no one could describe. Read more
Published on May 16 2004 by natalie
4.0 out of 5 stars So García Márquez writes in English now...
Where is the name of the translator anywhere in this listing or the excerpted pages? Is it the great Gregory Rabassa, recipient of a lifetime achievement award from PEN? Read more
Published on June 10 2002 by Bear in the Canyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
I have a soft spot for Garcia Marquez, but really, these are unforgettable.
Published on Sept. 27 2001 by Julie S.
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful prose
While they are a wee bit on the light side, these stories are extremely powerful. The prose simply pulls you in, and by the end you are left exhausted. Read more
Published on April 21 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Twelve Pilgrims: Strange Stories
This is truly a book for all people of all ages, there are magical aspects of every story, which are great for childrens imaginations. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliance...again!
as always, gabriel garcia marquez weaves many wonderful characters into a rich tapestry that seems to envelope you and leave you with that feeling of warmth expected from one of... Read more
Published on Nov. 10 1998
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