While some of Gabriel García Márquez's journalistic writings have been made available over the years, this is the first volume to gather a representative selection from across the first four decades of his career, years during which he worked as a full-time, often muckraking, and controversial journalist, even as he penned the fiction that would bring him the Nobel Prize in 1982.
A resonant new collection of García Márquez’s journalism, 'The Scandal of the Century,' demonstrates how seriously he took reportage ... These are articles that, in their confidence and grace, put the reader in mind of 'The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor' ... So many of the best pieces in 'The Scandal of the Century,' however, are essays, unpretentious and witty meditations on topics like barbers and air travel and literary translation and movies ... The articles and columns in 'The Scandal of the Century' demonstrate that his forthright, lightly ironical voice just seemed to be there, right from the start ... He’s among those rare great fiction writers whose ancillary work is almost always worth finding; he didn’t know how to phone anything in. He was a world-class observer ... The humble García Márquez put it this way: 'I am basically a journalist. All my life I have been a journalist. My books are the books of a journalist, even if it’s not so noticeable.' He had a way of connecting the souls in all his writing, fiction and nonfiction, to the melancholy static of the universe.
What’s particularly striking is how timely and relevant many of the dispatches are today, even though the most recent was written 35 years ago ... As in any anthology, some of the pieces are better than others. His style can be baroque. He repeats himself ... But taken together, the writing here offers readers a splendid opportunity to sit for a few hours in the presence of a storyteller of spellbinding genius and humanity.
It’s a rare volume that offers a retrospective insight into latent yet burgeoning genius ... offers a glimpse into the literary giant’s gift for telling memorable stories, with characters and events that take root and linger in one’s consciousness ... Whether he’s writing about pimps or heads of states, García Márquez contemplates human suffering and the often-ruinous consequences of desire. In divulging imperfections among flawed humans, he manages to inspire empathy for human folly ... This volume offers the Nobel Prize winner’s astute observations, allegories and metaphors, and affinity for the macabre and fantastical. Some articles connect factual and lived reality with a supernatural bent, illustrating the author’s early forays into magical realism. The articles serve as an important reminder of why García Márquez was such a beloved storyteller: he fully understood the fragility of the human condition and, in so doing, made us feel his ruminative agony.