This strange book is a complete contrast to ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ or ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’, but the narrative is of considerable interest. A departure from magical realism, the almost true account of kidnapping in Colombia makes for absorbing reading. The futile deaths, the senseless brutality, and the dubious politics all ultimately stemmed from drug use.
The trouble with drugs is that people do not see the consequences of their actions. Like any other commodity, the repercussions of purchasing a drug are concealed. To put it simply, when we buy something, the environmental and social impact of the product is rarely registered.
This might not be the finest work of this remarkable author. Nevertheless, he felt a strong urge to get it down on paper. Márquez got a character to conclude:
“Somebody ought to write a book.”