I have tried reading Marques before but have never been able to read beyond 100 pages of both 100 years of solitude and live in the time of cholera (although they had been strongly recommended). It’s hard to pinpoint the reason; perhaps the translated English that is not difficult but just not fluent to read. Hence I picked up this 122 pages book that despite its brevity turned out to be quite profound. But since this is practically my first read of Marquez I cant compare his works and nor can pinpoint on the characteristics that are peculiar to his writing. Perhaps since I have been able to get through this work I may now be able to read his other works as well.
The weird this about the novel is that the narrator is a nameless third person whose sisters (a nun and Margot) and mother do have a role to play in the story but he never does. His relation to the victim- Santiago Nasar or the murderers- Vicario brothers is never disclosed and nor the reason as to why is he going through the details of a murder that happened 27 years ago.
The gripping part about the story is that the victim- Nasar gets murdered
despite everyone in the village being foretold of his murder and everyone having tried to prevent it from occurring in his or her own right. Marquez leaves one question unanswered of whether Nasar was actually responsible for the crime that he got punished for, while the murderers were set free by court after spending 3 years in prison as they didn’t have money to pay for bail. Marquez himself plants this question of Nasar’s culpability and leaves it unanswered. Even if he was culpable, does his murder actually restore Angela’s honor as honor once lost could never be restored right? Her husband left her anyways!
The narration of the story is interesting and cyclical. Throughout the book several characters mention, “It was the last time he (she, they) saw him” and also Marquez several times mentions that it wasn’t raining and. Not once does he mention that it was raining, adding to the eerie feeling of the book.