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Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Colombia

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Why a Booktrail?

‘1950s’ – Based on a true story which the author wanted to incorporate and examine in a novella to bring out the horror of the real story. Added to the magical realism of García’s touch, this is a read you will never forget.

  • ISBN: 978-0241968628
  • Translator: Gregory Rabassa
  • Genre: Crime, magical realism, Thriller

What you need to know before your trail

‘On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on’

Santiago Nasar is brutally murdered in a small town by two brothers. All the townspeople knew it was going to happen – including the victim. But nobody did anything to prevent the killing. Twenty seven years later, a man arrives in town to try and piece together the truth from those who lived in the town at the time and to examine the reasons behind the murder and the reasons why the town stayed silent.

This is a story told in reverse – the murder you know has happened and the events leading up to it is the story here. Yet this is so much more than a murder story, it is a tale of Colombian culture, life style, social expectations, religion and honour.

Travel Guide

The original crime occurred on Monday, 22 January 1951, in the town of Sucre, where García Márquez’s family had been living for ten years.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is based on this story and the novel is set itself in a non descriptive coastal boarder town which we imagine to be Barranquilla/Sucre mixed.

Sucre/Barranquilla is a place where Mother Nature has furnished everything. The department is known for its extensive mangrove swamps, coral and coconut palms.

You can sit by the docks and watch the boats come in  –

“The day that Santiago is murdered was a significant day in town because the Bishop was coming by boat to bless the marriage of Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman. Many people were heading over to the dock to see the boats.”

This tale of a small town, pride, revenge, honour and family reveals a sorry tale of collective responsibility.  The death comes first and then the events leading up to it – just who is responsible for letting it happen? Is the whole community and the culture to blame?

A chilling and foreboding tale of hallucinations, recriminations and bitter destiny.

Booktrailer Review


One of the first books I read in Spanish but this one got me hooked on Marquez and his style of writing. This short novel made such an impression on me that I have never forgotten the excitement of having found it and read it in two languages. The story, sense of foreboding and the insight into honor killings, pride, small town gossip and the power of religion made for a real reading experience. I don’t know how many times I’ve read this now and it still chills me to think I can’t warn Santiago Nasar.

If you are learning Spanish there are a few versions (made for TV) I think of this story and they are well worth seeing. There’s just something so brilliant about this story that it really stays with you.

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