Strange pilgrims by Gabriel García Márquez

These days, stories are my cup of tea because each one can be devoured in one sitting.

Strange Pilgrims is a collection of twelve stories compiled by GG Márquez from his travels through Europe. Let me approach this through constructivism: Márquez’s style always makes use of magical realism and symbols are present in every story. The main themes are death and its effects on the living, as well as light and the absence of it. The common recurring symbol is blood. This reminds me of his profound use of blood and the bleeding incidents in Chronicles of a Death Foretold.

My top five Strange Pilgrims stories are (this is ridiculous, with GG Márquez it’s impossible to settle for just five!):

“I just came to use your phone” – Maria is driving alone to Barcelona when her car breaks down and she takes a bus that transports the women to an asylum. At their destination, Maria is supposed to be one of them.

Maria dos Prazeres- An elderly prostitute awaits her death to arrive at her apartment in Barcelona with her dog whom she has trained to cry on her grave.

Sleeping Beauty and the Plane – A very beautiful woman sits next to the author on a flight. He is completely captivated by her beauty, and here he expresses his musings.

The Ghosts of August: A family on vacation in Tuscany decides to spend the night at a friend’s castle where legend has it that the builder killed his girlfriend in bed before dogging himself. The family then discovers the truth of this story the next morning, where they wake up.

Tramontana- people seek refuge from the Catalan wind that the locals call the Tramontana, bringing with it the paranormal effects on everyone.

I have a special taste for these death stories:


Miss Forbes’s Summer of Happiness – Two young boys enjoy the serenity of a quiet summer vacation until a strict German babysitter arrives.

Light is like water: two young children ask for a boat in exchange for their good grades in school. Due to the absence of navigation water, the light bulbs in your home break and the light flows like water.

The Trail Of Your Blood in Snow-Billy takes his new wife to a hospital to help her stop the bleeding from a scratch on her ring finger from a rose thorn and he doesn’t know he will never see her again.

Márquez organized the stories himself in the order he wrote them. Each one has a pilgrim story to tell, in beautiful cities like Rome and Paris. Naturally, save the best ones for last.

Even the prologue has the strange story of Marquez to tell, of him visiting his own funeral and finally seeing his closest friends, but once the funeral is over, he alone cannot leave.

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez is a Colombian novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and journalist. García Márquez, familiarly known as “Gabo” in his native country, is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. In 1982 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

He started out as a journalist and has written many acclaimed non-fiction and short stories, but is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the Times of Cholera (1985). His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, especially for popularizing a literary style labeled magical realism, which uses magical elements and events to explain real experiences. Some of his works are set in a fictional town called Macondo, and most of them express the theme of loneliness.

-Good readings

“The real memories seemed like ghosts, while the false memories were so compelling that they replaced reality.”

With Márquez, the name of the game is magic and majesty, each pilgrim emerges spellbound.

Next on my reading list is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, unless someone wants to donate another book to read. What’s on your reading list?

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