(limitations on subject length suck, or what ?)

This is the first autobiography I've read. In this book, part 1 out of 3 Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells about the period of his life between early childhood and late 20s. This is a story of his life in mid 20-century Colombia, as the oldest of 11 kids in a family. Starting from childhood, Marquez tells about school, high-school, University and the beginning of a career as a writer and a journalist. It is interesting to learn about the early stages of life of this well-known man, and gain an insight on what shaped his vision and ideas as an author. It's also interesting from historic aspects, learning about Colombia in these years, full with civil wars and lagging behind the western world in technologic advance.

I'm amazed at the amount of detail Marquez puts in. I don't remember 1/10th of that about my childhood, and I'm only 23 years old, while he's now in his late seventies. The only explanation I can find for this is that Marquez probably had a diary he's been writing in since childhood, and it helps him reproduce all these memories. Which actually brought me a few times to the question of whether I should start a diary of my own, more detailed than a casual web log.

The story-telling is very fluent and readable. It started a little slow, but from some moment it just captures you and you can't stop reading. The style is familiar Marquez-ish from his other books, it takes you into some world with which you soon become pretty much tied, like some kind of magic. You can actually imagine to yourself the life in Colombia those days, the families, the people, the life in small towns and large cities, the fear from constant civil wars and rebellions.

I recommend reading this book, as it's really a good read, but even more if you've read some of Marquez' novels. It's great to be able to understand what inspired the author to write his books.