I stole this post from Brandon over at Bookstorm. Thanks!!
I finished the opening chapter of Gabriel García Márquez’s Living to Tell the Tale, and I’m enjoying the book’s strange, biblical quality. Aracataca, García Márquez’s birthplace, could be a modern Eden, after God kicked Adam and Eve out–it’s a place that’s beautiful, ugly, and forsaken:
When my grandfather tried to awaken the family’s enthusiasm with the fantasy that the streets were paved with gold there, Mina had said: “Money is the devil’s dung.” For my mother it was the kingdom of all terrors. The earliest one she remembered was the plague of locusts that devastated the fields while she was still very young. “You could hear them pass like a wind of stones,” she told me when we went to sell the house. The terrorized residents had to entrench themselves in their rooms, and the scourge could be defeated only by the arts of witchcraft.
In any season we could be surprised by dry hurricanes that blew the roofs off houses and attacked the new banana crop and left the town covered in astral dust. In summer terrible droughts vented their rage on the cattle, or in winter immeasurable rains fell that turned the streets into turbulent rivers. The gringo engineers navigated in rubber boats among drowned mattresses and dead cows. The United Fruit Company, whose artificial systems of irrigation were responsible for the unrestrained waters, diverted the riverbed when the most serious of the floods unearthed the bodies in the cemetery.