Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Strange Pilgrims is a collection of short stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, written over a period of eighteen years.These short stories depict the day by day mystic and beautiful expediency that has made the Nobel Prize-winning author so engaging. All the twelve stories involve Latin American characters that are peripatetic throughout Europe. While some stories may strike the reader as being quite peculiar, others will flummox while demonstrating the splendour of the human spirit. The stories take us on a journey of sort. A whole gamut of emotions and feelings run through us while we reading the unusual stories.

A father moves with the body of his daughter who is just beautiful in death as she was in life, for her to be declared a saint. It’s father love at the ultimate. Then there is an ex-president who is expected to die and is looked after a couple who have little money to spare. A young sent to an asylum for no fault of hers. A panicked husband rushes his wife to a Parisian hospital for treatment of a cut finger, but never sees her again. A man on an overseas plane flight preoccupied in thought about the beauty of a lady passenger as she soundly sleeps next to him. An elderly prostitute trains her obedient puppy to weep at her grave because she has a haunting premonition about her own death and has no one other than the dog to cry at her death. In one story, two little boys experiment with light flowing as water.

Marquez displays his penchant for bringing to mind curiosity in the reader through his use of colourful description and captivating characters. Strange Pilgrims proves, once again, that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the greatest storytellers of our time. The title of the book is apt as the reader indeed feels as if he is embarking on a pilgrim albeit a strange one.