Strange Pilgrims: A Collection of Short Stories by Gabriel García Márquez
David Travis
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This is my first attempt at a Geeklist (be kind). Here goes...

I love to read, but recently I have had trouble finding anything that could keep my interest past the first 30 pages. A friend of mine recommend that I look at the short stories of Gabriel García Márquez.

Long story short, (ugh, that was bad) I ended up reading Strange Pilgrims, his last collection published (so far) and was transfixed by how great these stories are. Here is my tribute to one of the best books I have ever read and a recommendation to anyone looking for a good book. Enjoy.

If you would like to recommend any of Márquez's other stories feel free to add them to the bottom of the list.
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David Travis
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Bon Voyage, Mr President (Buen Viaje, Señor Presidente)

The first story tells a tale about a deposed President of an unnamed Caribbean country, exiled in Geneva, Switzerland. While visiting a hospital for treatment of chronic back pain, he meets an ambulance driver who has schemed with his wife to rob the ex-President of his supposed wealth. The scheming couple soon find out that being a deposed President isn't all they thought it would be.
 
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The Saint (La Santa)

Eleven years after the death of his daughter, Margarito Durate is forced to move his daughters remains from the cemetery due to the construction of a dam. He discovers that her remains are miraculously intact and completely weightless. He travels to Rome with them to begin the process of having her canonized as a saint. His twenty-two year quest to confirm the sainthood of his daughter leads the narrator to question just who is the real saint.
 
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Sleeping Beauty and the Airplane (El Avión de la Bella Durmiente)

Trapped in an airport during the snowstorm of the century, the narrator sees the most beautiful woman in the world. When his finally boards for his trans-atlantic flight, by a stroke of luck he ends up sitting right next to her. She falls asleep and he spends the flight in voyeuristic adoration of her beauty. He never speaks a word to her and by the end of the flight he discovers that true beauty may only be skin deep.
 
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I Sell My Dreams (Me Alquilo para Soñar)

After seeing a particular ring, a silver snake with green gems for eyes, on the finger of a woman in a car crash, the narrator is reminded of a woman that he met years ago while in Vienna. A woman who had no job but has made a great deal of money selling her dreams.
 
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"I Only Came to Use the Phone" (Solo Vine a Hablar por Teléfono)

Stranded on the side of the road after her car breaks down, a woman gets picked up by a bus of sleeping women. The bus is headed for a woman's insane asylum. She asks to use the phone at the hospital but is directed into the line of patients and is unwilling admitted as a patient, repeatedly asking to use the phone to call her husband. Meanwhile, her husband despairs that she has left him and after a while give up hope of ever seeing her again. After quite sometime she manages to contact her husband and he comes to visit her. When he arrives he is told of his wife's strange obsession with the telephone.
 
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The Ghosts of August (Espantos de Agosto)

A family traveling in Italy visit a famous writer who lives in a old, semi-ruined palazzo in the hills around Tuscany. The writer explains the story of a murder that occurred in the master's bedroom and of the ghost that roams the halls of the palazzo. The children wanting to spend the night in a haunted house convince their parents to stay. The parents end up discovering that there may be more to these stories than they initially believed.
 
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María dos Prazeres

Maria a "retired" prostitute has had a vision that she interprets as predicting her impending death. Having spent years teaching her dog how to cry, she trains him to find her pre-purchased grave site so that she may have someone to mourn her passing. During a test of her dog's training she gets caught in the rain and discovers the true meaning of her premonition.
 
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Seventeen Poisoned Englishmen (Diecisiete Ingleses Envenenados)

An elderly South American woman on a pilgrimage to Rome to see the Pope, passes up the only hotel with a restaurant after getting a bad feeling seeing the pink knees of seventeen Englishmen sleeping in the lobby of the hotel. After returning from dinner at a restaurant down the street from the hotel that she ends up at, she discovers that her bad feeling may have saved her life.
 
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Tramontana

At a bar a young boy fearful of returning to Catalonia because of a belief that returning will cause his death, refuses the invitation of some tourists to party all night in a town in Catalonia. The narrator understands this fear because of his experience of the dreaded "Tramontana" wind. The boy finds out that we often have more control over our destiny than we believe.
 
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Miss Forbes's Summer of Happiness (El Verano Feliz de la Señora Forbes)

Two boys spend the summer in the care of their tutor Miss Forbes in a house by the shore. Becoming fed up with how strict their tutor is they plot to poison her with some spoiled wine that was found in a shipwreck on a diving expedition. On the fateful day they discover there is more to Miss Forbes than meets the eye.
 
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11. Board Game: Dying Lights [Average Rating:5.06 Overall Rank:13691]
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Light is Like Water (La Luz es como el Agua)

Two young boys ask for a boat in return for their good grades. When their parents finally buy them a sail boat, they lug it up to their room and they break the light bulbs in their home and the light comes flowing out like water. They use the light to sail around their home every night. Soon they invite their friends to go sailing with them as well and the boys and their friends find out in what ways light is like water.
 
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12. Board Game: Blood on the Snow: The Battle of Suomussalmi [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:10989]
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The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow (El Rastro de tu Sangre en la Nieve)

A newly wed couple travels to Europe for their honeymoon. They land in Spain and are given gifts by friends and family. The husband receives a new car and the wife a fur coat and roses. The wife pricks her finger on the roses and the wound doesn't stop bleeding as they begin to drive. They resolve to stop at a pharmacy after crossing into France but a freak snowstorm has closed all businesses. As his wife sleeps the husband drives all the way to Paris. Her finger still bleeding, the husband checks his wife into a hospital in Paris, but is told that he can't see her until visiting hours on Tuesday. The man checks into a nearby hospital and waits to see his wife in a few days. When he gets to the hospital on Tuesday he discovers what is truly wrong with his wife.
 
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