Sunday, 13 March 2011

Book review: Leaf Storm by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Leaf StormI was recommended this author years ago by my Spanish teacher but this is the first time I have read anything by him. Leaf Storm is a short story with some of the characters also appearing in his well known work One Hundred Years of Solitude.

The story is set in the town of Macondo in the early 20th Century. Macondo has been invaded, then deserted by a banana company, leaving the place unrecognisable to its inhabitants. One of those inhabitants, the Colonel, is faced with fulfilling a long held promise when the Doctor hangs himself. The Doctor was a mysterious individual who appeared from nowhere, lived with the Colonel's family for years, embroiled himself in scandal and became reviled for refusing to treat the people of the town.

The story is told from the perspectives of the Colonel, his daughter Isabel and her son, and as well as covering the here and now moves around in time to encompass the Doctor's arrival in town and Isabel's marriage among other events. It wasn't always entirely clear who was narrating or which point in time they were talking about, and much of it read like a stream of consciousness. This gave it something of a dreamlike quality. Not much actually happens and there isn't a lot of depth to any of the characters, but it's nicely written - other reviews I've seen describe as ethereal, not the first word that sprung to mind for me but I wouldn't disagree.

Overall I can appreciate some of the beauty of it but wouldn't go as far as to say I liked it. I think I'll be checking a sample before buying any of the author's novels.

Format: Paperback, from the library
My rating: 2*

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