The Story of a Ship-Wrecked Sailor is a fascinating piece of writing, not only because Luis Alejandro Velasco’s incredible story is true, but because Marquez’s signature style lifts it above a mere recording of information.
Marquez manages to take a 14-piece interview (originally published in 1955) and turn it into a stunning narrative, by heightening the drama of being stranded at sea, without romanticizing the reality of what it means to fight for survival. This balance is what makes Marquez such a beloved standout in his field; he can make the reality of life beautiful and exciting – yet even in the darkest of situations, he never loses the truth and essence of the human experience.
I certainly have a long way to go with Marquez, as The Story of a Ship-Wrecked Sailor is only my third venture into his collection, but he is one of the few authors whose entire body of work I plan to take on.
Rating: 4 Life Rafts