As humans we seem pretty fascinated with stories of human survival. The idea of the endurance of the human spirit has been explored in numerous films, books and television programmes. So it makes sense that Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s first work would be one that explores this very issue. The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor is a journalistic re-telling of the true story of 20-year-old Luis Alejandro Velasco who was washed overboard and then survived floating on a raft without food or drink for ten days.The novella is just over one hundred pages long, and Marquez’s writing style combined with Velasco’s harrowing tale keeps you truly hooked all the way though; I finished the book in an evening because I was totally unable to put it down. Velasco’s tale is really one of almost stunning bravery; although at times during his ordeal his in convinced he’s going to die and almost welcomes it; there remains a drive to survive within him. Whilst the main story is fascinating (with headings like ‘Watching Four of My Ship Mates Drown’); the last part deals with Velasco’s strange fame and almost heroic status; which he acknowledges is down to the fact her survived on a life raft ill-equipped for such an eventuality.This is only a short book, but I really was totally fascinated by Velasco’s tale. Reading Marquez’s shorter works is only making me more excited about reading Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude in the future.