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Last Updated: Friday, 22 October, 2004, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Happy ending for Garcia Marquez
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Fans have waited 10 years for the latest novel
A last-minute change to Gabriel Garcia Marquez' new novel has dealt a blow to pirates who flooded his native Colombia with bootleg versions.

Pirate copies of the book, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, forced the author to rush-release the official version.

But the final chapter of the authorised story has been altered.

The BBC correspondent in Medellin, Colombia, said vendors were tapping on car windows, offering the long-awaited novel at half the official price.

"Check the pirate version that is coming out in Colombia compared to the legal version being launched today," editor Braulio Peralta told journalists in Mexico.

"All I'm saying is that Gabriel Garcia Marquez changed the last chapter."

Anticipation high

Fans of Mr Garcia Marquez have been waiting 10 years for his latest offering, which has sparked even more interest than usual because of its title, Memories of My Melancholy Whores.

The novel tells the story of an old man who remembers all the women in his life while making love for the last time.

Garcia Marquez is famed for classics such as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, and his novels are always much anticipated in Latin America.

He won the Nobel Literature prize in 1982.

Book piracy is common in Colombia, where many best-sellers are illegally copied and sold on the street.

Buyers can not only find books but music and Hollywood movies that have not even reached the country's cinemas.

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