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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Randolph Hogan Translator. This is Marquez's account of a real-life event.
In , eight crew members of the destroyer Caldas, were swept into the Caribbean Sea. The sole survivor, Luis Alejandro Belasco, told the true version of the events to Marquez, causing great scandal at the time.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published February 29th by Penguin Books Ltd first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor , please sign up. I have trouble to image the life raft he was on. Any pictures links that looks like it? This seems to be one based on the in book descriptions. See all 3 questions about The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor….
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Mar 24, Ahmad Sharabiani rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , latin-american , 20th-century , classics , spanish , colombian , literature. View 2 comments. The ship has started to shake in febuary 27 at 10 pm until but after few minutes the ship was capsized and some of the sailors who were on the roof have fallen overboard. What happens after that can be hard for anyone to think about, as Luis who found a raft started to move the toward remaining three survivors of his shipmates it become futile as he watched them helplessly drown as the waves was getting bigger.
After that is ten days of struggle against nature where he fights off sharks for a fish where he falls overboard twice but thankfully at the time there were no sharks around, he fights off extreme hunger and thirst and even catches a bird but the sight of flesh makes him feel nauseas and eventually he throws it to the hungry who accompanied him amazing story of endurance and surviving The story of Luis Alejandro Velasco is one of intense survival, as he was flung overboard from the destroyer Caldas with seven of his fellow seamen on February 28, The ship was traveling from Mobile, Alabama, in the United States, where it had docked for repairs, to the Colombian port of Cartagena, where it arrived two hours after the tragedy.
After four days, the search was abandoned and the lost sailors were officially declared dead. Velasco, however, found a raft and remained on the open sea without food and without hope. After drifting with sea currents for ten days, an emaciated Velasco arrives with his raft on a coast that he later discovers to be Colombia. He is received first with affection and later with military honors and much money from publicity agencies. I asked Luis Alejandro Velasco to describe the storm that caused the disaster.
The truth, unpublished until then, was that the destroyer was loaded with contraband. Not being able to withstand the weight of its cargo, the ship tossed in windy seas and dropped its ill-secured cargo and eight of its seamen into the sea. Knowing that it was illegal to transport cargo on a destroyer, the journalists were in a dilemma, as Colombia was under the military and social dictatorship of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla and the press was heavily censored.
The story, divided into installments, ran for fourteen days. The government denied that the destroyer was loaded with contraband. To back up the story, a special supplement was published one week after the publication of the series, containing photographic proof. The dictatorship countered the blow with a series of drastic reprisals that would result, months later, in the shutdown of the newspaper.
In , Velasco sued for translation rights to the book and lost. Mar 04, Alice-Elizabeth marriedtobooks rated it liked it Shelves: alice-reads-adult-fiction , read-in , alice-reads-classics , readathon-by-zoe-march This was such a quick read, at pages long, I was able to finish this in just fifteen minutes.
Inspired by true events after a ship sinks, the only survivor lasts for ten days on a lifeboat without food and water. It was visual, action-packed, however, I did feel a disconnection towards the survivor and was expecting m This was such a quick read, at pages long, I was able to finish this in just fifteen minutes. It was visual, action-packed, however, I did feel a disconnection towards the survivor and was expecting more of an adventurous tale. View 1 comment. Apr 18, Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly rated it it was amazing.
Think of a writer who can make you smile, happy and laugh with just the title of his work or with its prologue written in four short pages. And it is here, where he didn't tell his own story, but the story of another, written in the first-person narrative but in GG Marquez's hand, sort of like "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" by Gertrude Stein. The title you see from the image of this book here at GR is not complete Think of a writer who can make you smile, happy and laugh with just the title of his work or with its prologue written in four short pages.
The title you see from the image of this book here at GR is not complete as it has a sub-title which sort of serves as an appetizer to this memorable dainty little dish. I reads: "who drifted on a life raft for ten days without food or water, was proclaimed a national hero, kissed by beauty queens, made rich through publicity, and then spurned by the government and forgotten for all time" Flip over a leaf and you'll have the prologue I was referring to which GG Marquez entitled "The Story of This Story.
A search for the seamen began immediately, with the cooperation of the U. Panama Canal Authority, which performs such functions as military control and other humanitarian deeds in the southern Caribbean. A week later, however, one of them turned up half dead on a deserted beach in northern Colombia, having survived ten days without food or water on a drifting life raft. His name was Luis Alejandro Velasco. This book is a journalistic reconstruction of what he told me, as it was published one month after the disaster in the Bogota daily El Espectador.
At that time Colombia was under the military and social dictatorship of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, whose two most memorable feats were the killing of students in the center of the capital when the Army broke up a peaceful demonstration with bullets, and the assassination by the secret police of an undetermined number of Sunday bullfight fans who had booed the dictator's daughter at the bullring.
The press was censored, and the daily problem for opposition newspapers was finding politically germ-free stories with which to entertain their readers. At El Espectador, those in charge of that estimable confectionary work were Guillermo Cano, director; Jose Salgar, editor-in-chief, and I, staff reporter. None of us was over thirty. The armed forces had sequestered him for several weeks in a naval hospital, and he had been allowed to talk only with reporters favorable to the regime and with one opposition journalist who had disguised himself as a doctor.
His story had been told piecemeal many times, had been pawed over and perverted, and readers seemed fed up with a hero who had rented himself out to advertise watches because his watch hadn't even slowed down during the storm ; who appeared in shoe advertisements because his shoes were so sturdy that he hadn't been able to tear them apart to eat them ; and who had performed many other publicity stunts.
He had been decorated, he had made patriotic speeches on radio, he had been displayed on television as an example to future generations, and he had toured the country amid bouquets and fanfares, signing autographs and being kissed by beauty queens. He had amassed a small fortune. If he was now coming to us without our having invited him, after we had tried so hard to reach him earlier, it was likely that he no longer had much to tell, that he was capable of inventing anything for money, and that the government had very clearly defined the limits of what he could say.
We sent him away. But on a hunch, Guillermo Cano caught up with him on the stairway, accepted the deal, and placed him in my hands. It wa as if he had given me a time bomb. In twenty daily sessions, each lasting six hours, during which I took notes and sprang trick questions on him to expose contradictions, we put together an accurate and concise account of his ten days at sea.
It was so detailed and so exciting that my only concern was finding readers who would believe it. Not solely for that reason but also because it seemed fitting, we agreed that the story would be written in the first person and signed by him. This is the first time my name has appeared in connection with the text. Aware that his statement was worth its weight in gold, he answered with a smile, 'There was no storm. The truth, never published until then, was that the ship, tossed violently by the wind in heay seas, had spilled its ill-secured cargo and the eight sailors overboard.
This revelation meant that three serious offenses had been committed: first, it was illegal to transport cargo on a destroyer; second, the overweight prevented the ship from maneuvering to rescue the sailors; and third, the cargo was contraband--refrigerators, television sets, and washing machines. Clearly, the account, like the destroyer, was loaded with an ill-secured moral and political cargo that we hadn't foreseen.
At first the government applauded the literary consecration of its hero. Later, when the truth began to emerge, it would have been politically dishonest to halt publication of the series: the paper's circulation had almost doubled, and readers scrambled in front of the building to buy back issues in order to collect the entire series.
The dictatorship, in accordance with a tradition typical of Colombian governments, satisfied itself by patching up the truth with rhetoric: in solemn statement, it denied that the destroyer had been loaded with contraband goods.
Looking for a way to substantiate our charges, we asked Luis Alejandro Velasco for a list of his fellow crewmen who owned cameras. Although many of them were vacationing in various parts of the country, we managed to find them and buy the photographs they had taken during their voyage.
The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor
It was originally published as a fourteen consecutive day series of installments in El Espectador newspaper in ; it was later published as a book in , and then translated into English by Randolph Hogan in The story is written in the first-person from the perspective of the sailor, year-old Luis Alejandro Velasco, and was in fact signed by Velasco as author when it was first published in In , he wrote a series of newspaper stories about a shipwrecked sailor who nearly died on account of negligence by the Colombian Navy ; several of his colleagues drowned shortly before arriving at the port of Cartagena de Indias due to the existence of overweight contraband aboard the vessel. This resulted in public controversy, as it discredited the official account of the events, which had blamed a non-existent storm for the shipwreck and glorified the surviving sailor. The book's theme is the possible, but not necessary, moral reversion to a primitive, instinctual existence in the face of a sea catastrophe and consequent shipwreck and solitude. When the ship sets sail, however, it is overloaded — in part with contraband. When the vessel is caught in heavy waves in the Caribbean, eight of the crew are washed overboard, together with much of the cargo.
Relato Náufrago by Gabriel García Márquez