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The Lost City

3.14 of 5 stars 3.14  ·  rating details  ·  102 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Jackson Small—barely twenty and just discharged from the military—sets off in search of something he cannot even be sure is real: La Joya, the lost capital of an ancient, vanished Peruvian empire.

Traveling through South America, Jackson makes his way through desert, arid mountains, inhospitable villages, and impenetrable jungle, meeting several unforgettable characters, i
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 19th 2008 by Knopf (first published April 2nd 2007)
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Community Reviews

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I'm a sucker for "lost city" books, so I picked this one up without much perusal. Note to self, next time, peruse more. Shukman writes very good prose at times and he has a good travel writer's eye for the details of foreigness. Sadly, he has no flare for story and no feel for character.
Sep 10, 2008 Lee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of travel literature
Shelves: fiction
The cover of this book portrays a mysteriously beautiful landscape, which is rather apt as the book develops quite quickly into a beautiful tapestry describing the landscape both geological and anthropological of South America.

The role of the main character (Jackson) seems secondary to the great backdrop of his surroundings for a lot of the time, which is perhaps appropriate as he himself is never in complete control and permanently at the will of fate.

Jacksons back story for his reasons to comp
I spent the whole book worrying about the cat!
I have been enthusing over this book to anyone who will listen, including small children and pets. The author Henry Shukman is an experienced travel writer and he is very good at capturing the feel of his settings. His handling of moods and relationships is first-rate, as is his method of slowly building dramatic tension.

This was the story of Jackson Small, ex-British army, who suffered a breakdown after seeing his best mate Connolly die in in a fire-fight. Was it a case of friendly fire?
Review by Nathan Ihara

Shukman’s novel, which opens promisingly with a lone figure walking through a desert, turns out to be something of a trifle. The book’s best qualities are those of travel writing: local color, evocative descriptions (“Against the white sky, vultures turned like tea leaves in a just-stirred cup”) and a sense of mystery and movement. The novel’s protagonist, Jackson Small, a troubled young man fed up with military life and the dreariness of England, embarks on the journey mad
His descriptions of scenery is excellent and that is what drew me into this book. It was a good read of a traveler trying to come to terms with the death of a friend and some mental issues from his army life. The only issue I had was that it seemed the writer couldn't decide if he was writing a serious character driven story or an action/mystery with a few moralistic lessons thrown in. Worth a read though.
Shukman is a beautifully descriptive author - one of the rare kinds that truly bring words to life. The character development as well as relationships throughout the novel is heart wrenchingly sweet. I'd recommend this book to those who enjoy the company of nature and a solid coming of age tale.
Linda Hollingsworth
This is a stellar adventure complete with fascinating characters, exotic locations in the Peruvian Andes, heartfelt emotion and fully developed character of the male protagonist, and a fully developed gift of description. I enjoyed it so much I will probably read it again...and soon...
Really enjoyed this coming of age novel, great descriptions of Jungles, jungle way of life with some interesting characters - has a little piece of everything this book - romance, adventure, loyalty & finding one's self. Recommended.
Full confession - I didn't finish this book, because I think it had to go back to the library and was on my sister's card. But it was interesting while I had it...
Jul 08, 2008 William is currently reading it
A young man's attempt to find himself via a anthropological quest in South America.
Brett Barley
An adventure story in South America... More to come.
A really strange but compelling book.
May 15, 2012 Jenna added it
eh... it was okay
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