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Gabriel García Márquez: El General en su Laberinto (The General in his Labyrinth)

This is one of García Márquez’ most realist novels, telling of the physical and spiritual journey of Simón Bolívar. It is nominally about Bolívar’s last days, as he is dying from disease – he had tuberculosis – as well as from heartbreak, as his dream of creating a united South America was rapidly falling apart. He goes back over both his political and military life as well as his personal life, the whole enhanced by the delirium induced by his fever. Even if you know nothing of the history, you will enjoy this story of a man who is both larger than life and just an ordinary man, beset by doubt and racked by illness. In his other books, García Márquez has made a mythic creations out of fictitious characters. Here he takes a real character and, focusing on one of the least-known episodes in his life, once again creates a character with mythic force.

Publishing history

First published in Spanish 1989 by Oveja Negra
First published in English 1990 by Alfred A. Knopf
Translated by Edith Grossman