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Deserted Cities of the Heart

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
"With surpassing skill, Shiner creates a milieu of corruption, decay, and ultimate redemption--populated with a cast worthy of Robert Stone. This savagely written novel is a total original." --James Ellroy, author of LA Confidential Years ago, Eddie Yates disappeared into the rainforests of the Yucatan, a burned-out visionary in search of cosmic truth. A mysterious photo s ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Bantam (first published May 1st 1988)
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137th out of 295 books — 6 voters
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Jim Cherry
Dec 31, 2009 Jim Cherry rated it really liked it
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the end of the world in 2012 based on the Mayan calendar ending it’s last cycle. In Deserted Cities of the Heart, Lewis Shiner was ahead of the game when he wrote in 1988! As the Indians in the book say, the end of the world has to start some place.

Deserted Cities is something like you’d get if you mixed Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan, with Burroughs/Ginsburg’s The Yage Letters, and a bit of Paddy Chayefsky’s Altered States thrown in. Deserted Cities is abou
Allan Dyen-Shapiro
Mar 29, 2012 Allan Dyen-Shapiro rated it it was amazing
Indigenous tribes, anthropologists, narcoterrorists and militaries. Part intrigue, part drugged-out hallucination. Really excellent prose. An early novel form this master. Strongly recommended.
Dawn Ramsey ford
Nov 18, 2012 Dawn Ramsey ford rated it really liked it

Love love love Lewis Shiner! Fell in love with Glimpses when I was in college.
Apr 03, 2008 Dfordoom rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Lewis Shiner’s Deserted Cities of the Heart is one of those books that is not easy to classify, but I think it fits pretty well with the sorts of books we discuss here. It involves a journalist in Central America searching for his brother Eddie, a one-time rock star. Eddie is experimenting with magic mushrooms and other psychedelics but it appears that he may have found away to use psychedelic drugs to actually travel in time, and even to travel back to the days of the Mayan civilisation. Meanwh ...more
A nice blend of Regan-era Latin America and mystical BS. Not great, but entertaining. Think a little "Indiana Jones Temple of Doom" (the boring parts) and mix in "Apocolypto" and "Apocalypse Now" but maybe a little less crazy. Mexican rebels get entangled into a power struggle and the decendants of the Mayans begin prepping for the "end of the world". Add a washed up 70's guitar rock god and his PhD geek brother with the former rock god's wife along for sexual hi-jinks. Let's party like it's 199 ...more
Matt Piechocinski
Aug 10, 2011 Matt Piechocinski rated it liked it
This book was a little trippy, but by and large, I found to be excellent. Although a work of fiction it really painted what a mess Central America was during the 80s, a decade which was completely awesome, but between Iran/Contra, AIDS, and the Cold War ... a time period that I'm surprised the world really made it out of.
Aug 16, 2011 Geoff rated it really liked it
Solid book. Very much a product of the 80s. Full of references to the contras and Reagan, Castaneda and the Mayans, environmental destruction, globalization, Sandanistas and Zapatas, drug culture and the hangover from the seventies. Very entertaining book with good flow, easy to read and optimistic.
Sep 10, 2010 Velvetink marked it as to-read
Shelves: sf-fantasy
*note to self. Copy from A.
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