Garcia wrote this essay in a series of newspaper articles in Bogota over 30 years ago. He tells the dramatised story of a sailor Luis Alejandro Velasco who sailed on a ship laden with contraband goods from Alabama in the US bound for Columbia. The ship encountered a turmultuous storm which threw all aboard into the sea with devastating consequences.
Hero of the story Velasco is lucky enough to find the life vessel and he alone climbs aboard. He is thereafter adrift in the vastness of the ocean.
I can’t say anything more about this novel without giving away the riveting and highly engaging plot.
What I will say is that Garcia packs a punch with this short and dramatic novel. It’s incredibly engaging and visceral in its grisly realism of what it would be like to suffer starvation and extreme thirst at sea. Also he weaves a powerful tale of the extreme loneliness and strange delusions that visit someone who is completely deprived of all sensory input.