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Andorra: A Novel
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Andorra: A Novel

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  413 ratings  ·  74 reviews
For mysterious reasons, a man forsakes his American life and arrives in a strange country called Andorra. He settles into the grand--and only--hotel in its seaside capital, and gradually makes the aquaintance of this tiny city's most prominent residents: the ancient Mrs. Reinhardt, who has a lifetime lease on the penthouse in the hotel; Sophonsobia Quay, the kayaking matri...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by Picador (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 681)
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Kittaroo
Premetto: amo Cameron. Temo di non essere obiettiva quando ne parlo.
Amo il suo manierismo, amo il modo in cui riesce a tratteggiare caratteri in modo semplice e rapido, amo le sue descrizioni geografiche. Nulla è, però, mai lineare come appare all'inizio. I personaggi sono mascherati e si mostrano totalmente diversi con l'andare delle pagine, la trama, lieve e leggera si tinge anche di giallo, ma la svolta è totalmente inaspettata.
Caratteri che si ballano intorno, si sfiorano e si svelano, sull...more
Szplug
The Andorra of Peter Cameron's self-same titled book is out-of-synch in many ways: unlike the landlocked principality in the Pyrenees, Cameron's is an oceanside realm; its inhabitants are all variations of the same lovesick prototype that is drawn towards the shadowy narrator; its tourist-friendly streets and shops, its baroque architecture and cobbled lanes harbour secrets and intrigues out of a fifties noir novel; and the narrator himself, a cipher, the unlikely object of so much attention and...more
Stuart
This was a book club read for me and the host this month absolutely adores this book. Andorra is short, about 60,000 words, and highly stylized. The writing harkens back to the 1920s and seems to be heavily influenced by E.M. Forster except nothing here is realistic. A self-absorbed man with a checkered past goes to a small fictional European country on the Mediterranean to start anew. He falls for a couple of women, basically the only two women he meets, and reveals his secrets.

About halfway t...more
Mrfishscales
I've always been intrigued by Andorra, a tiny county in the middle of the Pyrennes. Peter Cameron uses the fact that most people wonder about the country but few know anything about it to create an Andorra that is basically an expatriate colony without overbearing native culture. The narrator seems amiable enough to begin with , but as the novel progresses your doubts pile up. Not only does his account of himself to others begin to seem a little fishy, but the very character of the setting in wh...more
Carolee Wheeler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter
An intriguing and subtly eerie story. Simple, and descriptive, in a minimalist way, but with touches of humor, poignant passages, and spot on observations about life, and everything. It will have you wondering, what is going on, and why, but at the same time there is a frustrating quality within the story. Cameron's dialogue at times is quite formal (hence people referring to it the book as a comedy of manners) and makes it difficult to pinpoint what era the novel is set in, though there is a re...more
Terry
Firstoff, this book isn't for everyone. If you like suspense, the novel Rebecca, the films The Usual Suspects and Identity, you'll probably really enjoy it. But, if you're not a suspense fan who's up for some author trickery, you might feel a) bored (by some of the long sections of dialogue) or b) cheated (oh those last lines).

With that disclaimer, I have to say I loved this novel! Yes, 5-star loved. Cameron's dialogue is truly realistic and brings his characters to life; his description is tho...more
Rachelfm
I picked this title in my quest for "50 books in 50 countries" this year and had just read something set in Lichtenstein, so I thought I'd continue my tour de microstates. However, the Andorra that Peter Cameron writes about is one you can't find on any map; Cameron's rich imagination has given the landlocked nation a sumptuous Mediterranean coastline, cosmopolitan population and cities and histories that exist solely in this novel.

The deliberate and well-contstructed "world building" of Cameron...more
Pasquale Musicco
Un racconto a tratti splendido e per tre quarti pressochè perfetto. Un finale frettoloso e sostanzialmente irrisolto. In sintesi, un'opera asimmetrica se ne volessimo considerare l'appartenenza al genere noir. Ma forse nemmeno Peter Cameron è completamente convinto di farne un racconto noir e, appena si creano le premesse del trilling, è lui stesso a provvedere a smorzarne i toni con bellissime digressioni di carattere descrittivo (quando parla dei luoghi) o di carattere psicologico (allorchè si...more
Ian
An American, Alexander Fox, following the death of his wife and daughter moves to Andorra to start his life anew. He quickly falls under the spell of this tiny isolated country that moves at its own pace, its ancient stone buildings and people who come from everywhere and nowhere. In Andorra's capital, La Plata, he meets an Australian couple, Mr. and Mrs. Dent, who have moved to this strange place seeking a fresh start for reasons of their own. He also becomes involved with the Quays, a family o...more
Steve
Andorra was a troubling good book for me. I genuinely enjoyed. I actually was a little obsessed with it. I felt somewhat compelled to read it at times. Yet, I have no idea why. There’s nothing so compelling about it that warrants the treatment, yet if not for some disappointment with the ending, this was nearly a five star book.

Andorra, itself, may be the compelling item about the book. Of my Christmas book pull, this was the first off the heap to be read. And it wasn’t close. I was thinking abo...more
Filippo Bossolino
Per me è il primo romanzo di Peter Cameron. Fin dalle prime poche pagine sono rimasto affascinato dalla scrittura, lenta e semplice ma altamente evocativa, che mi ha trasmesso una sensazione positiva, riflettendo pienamente l'emozioni del protagonista, appena giunto in un minuscolo staterello, Andorra, per fuggire dagli Stati Uniti e da un passato troppo ingombrante.

Col trascorrere dei giorni e delle pagine, questa sensazione positiva si sposta pian piano su un livello opposto, con il protagonis...more
Miriam

I enjoyed the scenic descriptions more than the actual story.
It made me want to visit Andorra, but didn't make me want to read more Cameron.
Jessica
Another wonderful novel by Cameron, loved it almost as much as 'The City of Your Final Destination.'
Joyce
Tales with an unreliable narrator are always a treat and this is no exception. Escaping tragedy, American Alexander Fox makes his way to Andorra, a tiny country nestled between Spain and France. He meets many interesting people who also share tragic stories. Alexander's behavior is quite puzzling which leads to a number of questions even as the number of people who care about him grow. For some reason, this reminds me of The Talented Mr. Ripley, although Alexander is a much different character,...more
Elisa
Tre stelle perchè mi è piaciuto tutto tranne il finale. Della serie "non sapevo come concludere la storia e quindi ci appiccico quest'ultimo capitolo e via". Che si capiva da un sacco di tempo che

SPOILER

la moglie e la figlia le aveva uccise lui.
Ma il finale è piatto come pochi.
La "fuga" è sostanzialmente una fantasia, perchè nella realtà lui è in cella e sta finendo di scrivere la sua storia.
Bell'idea ma si poteva sviluppare meglio.

Ero a tanto così dal dargli quattro stelle
ma non ce l'ho fatt...more
Mallory
(Fair warning, this review contains spoilers.)

I didn't get it.

I hate saying that about a book, because I sound stupid. Like there was something that I missed because I am lacking some crucial quality that fans of this novel possess. I have to say it for Andorra, though. I didn't get it.

I would like to start off saying that I did appreciate Cameron's style of writing. He had a way of describing scenery and people, and a natural flow that made finishing this book bearable. No, I'm being unkind. I...more
Marguerite
A lovely little book about escape -- in every sense of the word. Alexander Fox moves to Andorra to escape tragedy, not realizing that attitudes and values (and the sum of all we do) are some of the baggage that inevitably moves with us. The cast of characters with whom he interacts in Andorra is interesting. The quality of the writing is lovely:
"It was that odd time of day when the light goes all soft and benevolent. ... And something about the combination of the light and the champagne and the...more
Thomas
In my real life I rate my books on a ten-point scale with 10 being an all-time favorite. When I use a five here on Goodreads it really means anything that rates an 8 (really liked it) 9 (loved it) and 10 (all time favorite). On that scale Andorra gets an 8. I liked the setting, the details, the prose, and the plot. Was it a masterpiece? No. But I really enjoyed reading it and am interested in seeing what else Peter Cameron has written.
Tom
I really love Cameron's writing. Some of his sentences are so exquisitely evocative, although you sometimes feel like you're somehow stuck inside a DeBeers diamond commercial. But crisp, clear, descriptive, and golden-ripe but hollowed out in a real way.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't really move along very organically, and the meta-crap enveloping the tale is clumsy and doesn't hold together in any interesting way. (Full disclosure: I love good meta-crap.)

Please note that I'm only giving the...more
Frederick
Jun 21, 2007 Frederick rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with a high sense of aesthetics..
Shelves: novels, cameron-peter
I've given this three stars instead of four for the simple reason that, as intrigued as I was throughout the book, I must say I'm not sure I understood it. I related to the idea of the sheer loneliness of travel. Cameron certainly captures that. He also writes what I would call clean prose.
But I can't help wondering how I'm supposed to feel.
I've read and loved a lot of books which confused me. But ANDORRA didn't provide anything over which to become confused. It's not so much that I am mystifie...more
Luca Magagni
The story offers some fascinating consequences, but in general the more I read of Cameron, the less persuaded am I by his way of writing (why not exploring more some characters and situations and why not omitting some irrelevant details?) and the annoying style in dialogues (that are, to me, falsely realistic).
Bill
Andorra is a novel about a man who, for reasons unknown until very late in the book, moves to Andorra to live for an indefinite period of time.Andorra is in fact an actual country, however the Andorra in the novel differs from the real Andorra in many ways. The Andorra in the novel is on the ocean, the real Andorra is not. The capitol in the novel is La Plata which is not the name of the capitol of the real Andorra...and so on.

In any event in both cases Andorra is a very small country...he arriv...more
61pat
Un romanzo strano, una via di mezzo tra un giallo, ma senza che ci sia alcun tipo di indagine e un racconto del tentativo del protagonista di cambiare vita, accompagnato da una lunga riflessione introspettiva, ma anche questa parte senza una conclusione...
Alice
I liked this book very much. Again Peter Cameron shows that he can write in a different style. This book is different from his other two I recently read (Coral Glynn and Leap Year). The novel is in the form of a diary -- the narrator tells the story in the first-person. He is living in Andorra as an expatriate from the US, and he is fleeing something or some things in his past. Gradually, we learn more of his history, but there remains a suspicion that he isn't reliable in his reporting. The tow...more
Bibliophile
Peter Cameron's Andorra is a strange and hallucinatory fable with a startling ending. The American Alexander Fox arrives in Andorra (or "Andorra" as a very quick Google search will reveal that there's no beach or harbor in the real, landlocked country that lies between Spain and France) and becomes embroiled in the lives of its mysterious expatriates of British and Australian origin. (He encounters no actual citizens of the country except in their roles as waiters and bellobys.) As the novel pro...more
Valentina Accardi
Non posso dire che mi sia piaciuto troppo. In realtà ho capito il senso di tutto solo a pagina 232 (e il libro ha 236 pagine). C'è da rifletterci, ma mi sembra che mi sia sfuggito qualcosa, mi dà un senso di insoddisfazione.
Terry Perrel
Genre? Quirky literary fiction told by a first-person narrator in a style that might be like Jane Austin's alter ego. It's a black comedy of manners set in Andorra, which borders France and Spain in the Pyrenees. The setting is key to the novel which was published in the late 1990s. Everyone is happy there. From my own googling, I learned that it really is one of the top 10 happiest places to live. In this novel, however, it's also a place where people go to start over, and everyone, locals and...more
Tammara
Peter Cameron is quite good at taking a slice of his protagonist's life and fleshing it out, and his writing style is so reminiscent of E.M. Forster that I can't read anything of his without making the comparison. I'm never quite sure what year I'm in, either -- one page, the scenery description or manner of speech will seem like early 20th century, and the next, there's some technological item that grounds the story much more recently.

Andorra wasn't my favorite of Cameron's, but if you're a fan...more
Dan
This gets 3 stars only in comparison to what I expect from Peter Cameron. The writing, as usual, was flawless - filled with stunning descriptions and truly masterful pacing. But the story was a little muted. Cameron is not a writer of big motions, but this one seemed to rely too much on the unreliable narrator: the mysterious Mr. Fox. You don't know what his back story is for quite a while, but you never quite trust him, so the revelations that are parsed out aren't quite as surprising as you'd...more
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Goodreads Italia: Andorra - Peter Cameron 1 15 Jan 19, 2014 04:08AM  
Andorra was in his mind 1 9 Dec 13, 2009 05:11PM  
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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...more
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