Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s “There are no thieves in this town”

I have a great book of collected works by the author Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. He has become one of my favorite authors. It is his work that inspired me to work on my current NH Stories project.

I just read this great story called “There are no thieves in this town.” The title says it all. It talks about mistrust of strangers, of others. In the story, a black man gets blamed and punished (much harder than a native would be punished) for a crime that was committed by a townsperson.

It’s easy to point the finger at others. I see this as a religious person who hears way too often that it’s the fault of some person or group that the world is as it is. I see this as someone who (an independent) pays attention to politics, and I see how much people find identity in party, and these parties spend their days faulting the other side.

The main character in Marquez’s story is a handsome man who is short on brains and mercy. He’s violent and drunk all of the time, yet it’s hard to blame him. He lives in poverty, as does most of the town, and covets things for himself (and for his pregnant wife as an afterthought).

Marquez creates a story where the main character is also the villain that the reader hates. This story (outside of the strange cat character that only shows up when the main character is breaking and entering … guilt?) is not Magical Realism. An interesting break from most of his works.

Though the cat … I need to think about the cat. What’s up with the cat?

About Adam Nannini

The greatest writer of his generation ... which isn't saying much.
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One Response to Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s “There are no thieves in this town”

  1. Allie says:

    It is hard to blame Damaso, the main character. I almost want to say that the man’s theft wasn’t so much his fault (with him being so young and “stupid,” as others like to point out,) but others’ for not adequately stopping him, or finding the right man to punish in the first place.

    His wife doesn’t stop him, even though he waits for her to. The town so quickly wants to rid their own memories of the incident that they arrest the first “stranger” they can find.

    I’m still struggling to put together a full meaning here. ;) And I’m equally confused about the cat.

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