Why did I decide to read this book?
Gabriel Marquez is a celebrated author and his style of magical realism requires no introduction. This book is ubiquitously mentioned in almost all possible reading lists – Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble (100BooksToReadBeforeYouDie, 100BooksToReadInALifetime, 101BestSellingBooksOfAllTime).
The Plot Summary
The book features on list of best short novels to read. It’s a flat 60 minutes fluid read and under the ambit of young fiction even suitable as English text for school
What are my views on the book?
The beauty of Gabriel Marquez lies in the context that he builds around the characters, i.e. apart from giving them a personality, he enshrouds them in an air of mysticism and surrealism. Both these elements, coupled with metaphors snuck into the context is what make him a splendid author.
Not disappointing us at all, this time he weaves his metaphors about lives through the lens of a poor family settled in some remote village in coastal Spain. He is deliberately vague about the details of the village, family and the angel, only to divulge bare minimum information leaving the rest to the reader’s imagination.
The interesting note is about how he highlights the stereotypes about god-fearing population over innate curiosity of seeing an extraterrestrial being (angel) in flesh and blood. About how as human beings, self interest reign over collective good will, of how the fisherman sensed a business opportunity out of the convalescing angel. And how, the revenue earned from caging the angel as a zoo animal was used for restoration of the entire house except the area inhabited by the angel. Almost, as an evil intent to ensure that the angel remains in dilapidated conditions as a incessant revenue stream! And the angel too, symbolic of all the positive good things of life, kept those rare moments of joy as clandestine affairs. The publicly perceived image was that of decrepitude, and that was morbidly accepted by the angel as fate. Even if there was room for happiness, the angel chose to live in the darkness, as a sign that a flicker of light is impuissant against the mass darkness ?
His style has a mingling of the fantastic and ordinary, here an old winged man appears, although covered in lice and dressed in rags. It’s an idea that embraces God as a form of man not necessarily a form of divine entity. (This idea has been explored controversially in The Da Vinci Code)
Book: A Very Old man with Enormous Wings
Author: Gabriel Marquez (Published in 1955)
Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism
What are some of the best lines in the book?
“He was no longer an annoyance in her life, but now an imaginary dot on the horizon of the sky”