Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Review: No One Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez




The colonel and his ailing wife are living in poverty and monotony after their only son is killed in a political repression. The Colonel has no income; his house is mortgaged and he is counting the last pennies left which need to be spent for the daily expenses. For the last fifteen years he has been waiting for the pension cheque, but the postmaster always has one thing to say “No one writes to the Colonel”. But the Colonel, the hardened optimist he is, does not want to give up; he changes his lawyer in anticipation of things getting better. But yet he does not get his long due pension, the postmaster says the only thing certain to come is death. The colonel makes a failed attempt to sell the rooster which his son had trained for cockfight. The colonel has two other things to sell, a clock not in working condition and a picture which have no buyers. The Colonel still hopes either the rooster will win the cockfight and fetch him good money or he receives his pension payment. His wife says neither the hope nor dignity can be eaten so she asks the way to keep them alive. It does not seem to affect optimism of the Colonel.

This is a quick read (69 pages long). It is one of the earlier works (published in 1961) of the celebrated author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.