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The City of Your Final Destination
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The City of Your Final Destination

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  730 ratings  ·  121 reviews
A wryly humorous, impeccably observed novel about the capriciousness of love

Omar Razaghi posts a letter on September 13, 1995 that will change the course of his life forever. A doctoral student at the University of Kansas, he writes to the estate of the Latin American author Jules Gund, requesting permission to write Gund's authorized biography. His request is refused, but
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2002)
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just like peter cameron's more recent Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, this is an extremely sweet book. the protagonist is a rather lost 28-year-old graduate student in some university in kansas who has decided to write as his dissertation the authorized biography of a fairly obscure, recently-dead author and has received a generous scholarship for this endeavor (the caricature of academia won't be lost on most readers). unfortunately, he didn't make sure, first, that the authorization w ...more
Sullo sfondo di un Uruguay spazzato dal vento estivo di una sera di gennaio, Omar Razaghi, giovane studioso di letteratura, arriva nella sperduta e fatiscente dimora di Ochos Ríos. La sua borsa di studio è legata alla biografia di Jules Gund, autore di un capolavoro trascurato, la cui autorizzazione gli è stata negata via lettera dai suoi eredi testamentari.
La passività di Omar lo avrebbe rassegnato a rinunciare al suo lavoro e al suo assegno di ricerca se la fidanzata Deirdre non lo avesse spro
This is Peter Cameron's most widely acclaimed book, so after reading (and appreciating) Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You I was eager to read it.

And I found that most of the praise was well-deserved. Personally, I would have devoted some more lines to the characterization of Omar Razaghi, but this is only a minor flaw when compared to the mirable structure of the book and its memorable characters: Caroline and Adam Gund, above all.

I highly recommend it.
I can't quite pinpoint what attracted me to this story, yet I found myself eager to return to it each time I had to put it down to attend to real life. It's hardly action packed, and is truly a character driven novel in the truest sense. I think that's what intrigued me; I know it's completely voyeuristic, but I loved observing the characters and eavesdropping on their conversations. My criticism is that each of the characters *felt* like characters in a story. I couldn't really lose myself in t ...more
Nov 23, 2008 Lara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katie
Wonderful characters. My favorite thing about this book was the mysterious verse written inside the front cover, and the receipt from a Laguna Beach book store, which led me on my own miniature mystery.

"In this fleeting moment
what extravagant respite
as promethean sunsets
blossom, blaze and secede
from splendor to mystery.

In this fleeting moment
what extravangant respite
as booming surf speaks its
mystical passage across
the undreamed depths."
Duane Turner
Woderful book that totally involes you with characters you wish could continue to spend time with as part of a long series. I can't wait to read his other books but hope their is a sequel to this one. Each character is revealed in such a gentle natural way you are drawn into their world rather than having them explained to you.
Aug 16, 2014 MiʂħүJѻ rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to MiʂħүJѻ by: Nick Pageant
Shelves: nick-books
I don't know what to say about this book. It was way outside what I normally read. But it had a message for me. I will tell you about it later. When I figure it out.
Una lettera fa da apripista a questo romanzo, una lettera che cambierà i destini di molti personaggi.
Questo romanzo di Peter Cameron si snoda intorno alla figura di Omar Ranzaghi, di origini iraniane che vive nel Kansas e che decide di scrivere la biografia del compianto Jules Gund, uno scrittore il cui unico libro ha avuto un grande successo. Una biografia che lo porterà a Ochos Rìos, in Uruguay e che scatenerà molti dissidi tra la moglia Caroline, pittrice fallita, Arden, l'amante che per una
Hum, the life of academics..this is the story of a young teacher, awarded a fellowship to write the biography of an obscure writer. He accepts the fellowship--falsely stating that he has the permission of the estate of the dead author..his brother, wife and mistress all living in Uruguay. After finding out the family certainly does not grant permission, this up to now meek Kansas Ph.d student gets on a plane to change their minds. The writing is lovely, but sometimes too self aware somehow..and ...more
I love Cameron's style, his humor and ability to create subtle nuance with story and character.

A fumbling, lovable, spacey, academic wishes to write a biography of a novelist from Uruguay with only one novel to his name. Unfortunately the biographer had applied for the fellowship without getting the required family authorization, and the family rejects his offer. So off he goes to Uruguay to try to convince them to change their minds, pushed along by his frustrated and bossy girlfriend.

What he
The whole first half of this book I was bothered. By the sense that the it was more a screenplay than a novel, that Cameron was writing this in order for a movie to eventually be made. By what seemed a sort of contrived, Gothic setting, and by the way that none of the characters used contractions in their speech ("I am" instead of "I'm"). But it grew on me. Toward the middle of the book I started to laugh out loud at a lot of the things that came out of the ascerbic mouth of Adam Gund. And obvio ...more
Mi rendo conto di non avergli potuto dedicare tutta l'attenzione che forse meritava, ma mi aspettavo qualcosa in più. L'ambientazione è interessante e l'espediente di portare avanti la narrazione quasi escusivamente grazie ai dialoghi è ben studiata (anche se forse qualche battuta si poteva tagliare). I personaggi evolvono ma la storia a mio avviso non riesce ad appassionare, lasciando qualche interrogativo. Mi sono impantanata nella parte centrale, che ho trovato un po' noiosa, mentre verso la ...more
I feel very grateful to have won this in a Goodreads giveaway. It was the perfect book for a plane ride, which is where I read it: a reasonable length (300 pages), with an engaging plot and characters (grad student travels to Uruguay to convince a dead author's widow, mistress, and brother to allow him to write a biography). The characters' lives are all altered by this turn of events, and the resolution is satisfying. Finally, the writing is great -- witty dialogue, insightful yet easy-to-read ...more
This book was a recommendation from my friend Allen. It is short -- a quick read. I enjoyed it a lot though. Some very interesting characters. The main character is quite passive, but in an endearing way. You sort of want to protect him from the people around him. And, as it says on the flap, the book has a very satisfying ending.
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Romanzo pacato, delicato ed emozionante da cui James Ivory ha tratto un film con Anthony Hopkins, Laura Linney e Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Omar Razaghi si reca in Uruguay per farsi autorizzare una bigrafia dagli eredi testamentari dello scrittore Jules Gund. Da questo lavoro dipendono la sua borsa di studio e la sua carriera universitaria per cui, nonostante l'autorizzazione gli sia già stata negata via lettera, spinto dalla dispotica fidanzata si reca a Ochos Ríos con la speranza di persuadere di pe
Maggie Leschuk
This is an excellent slice of life novel. I usually read these indepth 600 pagers so it was a nice change of pace to read a book that life a lot of questions for the reader to think about. I think I'm going to add Peter Cameron to list of favorite authors.
Jun 10, 2008 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Bdveazey
Great book for those in academia as it illustrates the kind of stuff you have to do be "successful" (lose touch with loved ones, be tempted to do immoral things, go to great lengths to "complete" something). Ultimately, it's a great love story.
Luca Magagni
Someone said it looks like a script for a movie (actually there IS a movie with great cast and director). This is probably because of the extense dialogues that are a bit unusual in a novel the way they are written down here. I would say it looks like a movie script, too, since these dialogues do not work in a novel. Many situations are commonplaces all the time, you are reading them and you do not feel involved. Sometimes the characters feel some way and talk to other characters saying they do ...more
I'm not sure why I liked this book so much, because nothing much happens, but I think it was beautifully written and I was completely absorbed in the story. I still have images of it 3 years after reading it.
A funny and moving novel about a hapless graduate student who travels to Uruguay to try to convince a writer's heirs and executors to permit an authorized biography.
Mr. Cameron creates a world filled with brilliant dialogue, intriguing characters, compelling moral and personal dillemas with clear prose and a firm sense of purpose. I could say that the book's end is too neat. Everything is resolved satisfactorily; the moral issues are resolved and the characters are living rewarding lives. But I do not want to nitpick. Mr. Cameron captivated me from the start and I did not regret being his prisoner. I long to read works that are well crafted, filled with dia ...more
Fantastic book, involving and witty and smart and just a little left of center. Now I must find everything else by Cameron and read them all.
Copenhagen Reader
well written, doesn't take itself seriously as a novel. Takes academics with a pinch of salt. Great critique of the whole notion of biography.
Lori Ann
Great characters, satisfying story line, real page-turner (for me). Great sense of place--a lot of it takes place in Uruguay.
Stephanie Sun
A beautiful book about the immigrant experience, love in a cynical age, and second chances.
starts simply and broadens into a work of unusual depth. is he our modern-day woolf?
Procyon Lotor
Foschia dorata Ce ne fossero: stile, classe, introspezione, sceneggiatura, scrittura - notevole lo scarto dei caratteri nelle dislocazione fra USA e foresta sudamericana - ma senza senza senza il jenesaisquois. Libro eunuco sarebbe esagerato ma la direzione � quella, bisogna concentrarsi sullo stile e lasciar scorrere la vicenda perch� l'immedesimazione non aiuta per nulla (la scelta essendo fra un disadatto ontologico, una spaccaballe a propulsione atomica, e vari abitanti in coacervo di scombi ...more
A beautiful novel: lush, poignant, perceptive, funny.
Feb 26, 2012 Margaret rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone looking to spend some time reading good dialogue
Recommended to Margaret by: One of the author's HS teachers
This book was recommended by a friend who was once Peter Cameron's HS teacher when he was a student at Pompton Plains HS, NJ. The story is set in both Kansas and Uruguay. Omar Razagi, our protagonist is a 28 year old University of Kansas graduate student who has won a prize in order to write the biography of Jules Gund, a recently deceased author who grew up in Germany but then moved to Uruguay our of fear that the Nazis would discover his mother was Jewish. Jules is survived by his wife Carolin ...more
This was a book club selection, which is interesting because there aren't many talking points to this book. The whole novel seemed kind of pointless actually. In order to keep his grant money, Omar, the lead character, has to receive authorization from Gund's family in order to write biography about Gund's life. I went to grad school, so I totally understand the urgency & desperation of trying to complete a body of work that only five people are likely to ever read. But does this plot actual ...more
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La Stamberga dei ...: Quella sera dorata di Peter Cameron 1 3 Dec 12, 2014 03:24AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Peter Cameron (b. 1959) is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Born in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, he moved to New York City after graduating college in 1982. Cameron began publishing stories in the New Yorker one year later. His numerous award-winning storie
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