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Lost City Radio

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,423 ratings  ·  251 reviews
A powerful and searing novel of three lives fractured by a civil war

For ten years, Norma has been the voice of consolation for a people broken by violence. She hosts Lost City Radio, the most popular program in their nameless South American country, gripped in the aftermath of war. Every week, the Indians in the mountains and the poor from the barrios listen as she reads
ebook, 288 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,828)
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Tea Jovanović
Ovo je jedna knjiga koja čitaoca baca u potpunu nedoumicu šta da misli... Nametnuta mi je na uređenje (nije bila moj izbor), ja je nikad ne bih objavila jer mi nije jasno kome je i čemu namenjena, a opet nije loše napisana... baš me zanima da li ju je neko od vas čitao, i šta vi mislite?

malo teksta:


Normu su povukli s programa tog utorka ujutru zbog jednog dečaka koji je ostavljen u radio-stanici. Bio je tih i mršav i držao je cedulju. Recepcionerka ga je pustila da prođe. Sazvan je sastanak.
Jun 03, 2008 Yulia marked it as left-unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I've gotten 56 pages into it so far and have nothing to complain about, which is unusual for me. I don't think of it as having a sci-fi atmosphere, as some readers suggest. Though it does have the dystopian bearings of books like 1984 and We, those worlds are all too recognizable and easy to identify with. No flying cars or talking robots here. What the book does have is clean, evocative language that creates a vivid and foreign landscape. And no, Alarcon doesn't sprinkle in Spanish words to rem ...more
So beautiful and sad. The main character, Norma, lives in the capital city of an unnamed Latin American country experiencing an uneasy peace after the end of a decade-long civil war. Norma--or rather, her voice--is a kind of national icon because of her radio show, to which listeners call and tell her about their friends and family who have disappeared in the war, in the hopes that they're alive and will hear. Norma is somewhat disillusioned with the show, but continues partly out of her own una ...more
Daniel Alarcon does a remarkable job of putting the reader in the environment of a country that has been at war with itself for so long that the people have lost touch with themselves. What happens to a man when a teenaged prank is mistaken as revolutionary action and alters his life forever? What happens to a newsperson who goes on the air each week but can't report the news? How are people changed psychologically when they never know where the next blow will come from, when there is no logic t ...more
Book Concierge
In an unnamed city in an unnamed South American country, Norma is the beloved on-air host of “Lost City Radio,” where the nation’s lost and tormented souls try to reconnect with loved ones they’ve lost track of. It is ten years since the most recent civil war ended – at least officially. But people still live in fear of reprisal and even Norma’s show isn’t immune to the sort of self-censorship that comes from self-preservation. Norma’s husband is among the missing, and she daren’t read his name ...more
Norma is a popular radio announcer renowned for a program called Lost City Radio, which tries to match up the many, many missing people of the country with those still living and within listening range. One of the places that listens to her show is a town by the name of 1797, where Norma's own husband disappeared, and which determines to send a emissary to Norma with the names of all their missing - a list which includes her husband's name. The emissary is a young boy, who's very recently lost h ...more
Tom Mayer
Aug 19, 2007 Tom Mayer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of good fiction
I remember reading this in early bound galley form so there may have been changes between my edition and the final, published version. I initially soght out Alarcón's work because I learned that he was friends with friends from school who now lived in San Francisco. His short stories -- from the NYer, Tin House, etc. -- are taught and vivid (cf. WAR BY CANDLELIGHT). This first full length novel is about Norma, who hosts a radio program hoping to reunite those uprooted and disappeared in an unnam ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I liked the general premise of this book and the setting. What I didn't like was that there was a constant back and forth in time, for different characters, to different time periods. A civil war is chaotic; perhaps this is what the author was trying to convey. But sometimes the time regressions and back were in the same paragraph. It was very tiring reading and by about halfway I didn't really care much any more. I was perfectly happy reading the last page, not because I liked the ending which ...more
This book emphasizes the meaninglessness of war. Those who fight as well as those left behind are all tragic victims who suffer. This is a thought provoking book, esp in our present days of Arab spring, conflicts, revolutions & threatened uprisings. Some favorite quotes: "What does the end of a war mean if not that one side ran out of men willing to die?"....."a man handsome and vapid enough to be elected senator"....."The soldiers had spread about the room like ivy"....."In the local dialec ...more
like a friendship that would otherwise be a great romance, this novel has everything but the spark. intelligence, imagination, beauty, empathy, promise, even poise, yet swoon i could not (despite attempts to convince myself that i should have enjoyed it more than i did). alarcón is clearly quite talented, and, considering his relative youth, perhaps lost city radio is but a harbinger of the many exceptional, more finely honed works he seems capable of creating.
The book takes place in a nameless war-torn country in South America where the country is in a sense, united by those they have lost. In Alarcon's novel, neither faction is strictly right or wrong, rather he writes about the senselessness of war and the lives that are affected.

I enjoyed the book and thought it a good read, though perhaps not mind blowing. And although written about a South American country, the themes are relevant to our particular time and place.
Francisco Cardona
One of the best things I've read in years. A story not of missing people, but of missing pieces in people's lives. How does a country continue when there has been so much death and destruction that has devastated their lives? Lost City Radio is testament of what people will do to imagine something to fill those holes that have been created. It's a tragic work of art, not because of the disappeared, but because of the world where imagination fails us. The living are the missing, like a character ...more
Alex Fernie
Exceptionally well-written...The story revolves around three people in an unnamed South American country that was torn apart by a recent civil war. Alarcon uses the story of these three to show how war can continue to destroy lives even after the shooting stops.
In an unnamed country in South America, struggling to heal after a civil war that seemed endless, a radio program called Lost City Radio gathers the nation together once a day. It is hosted by Norma whose voice both eloquent and empathetic, tells the news of the day interspersed with musical interludes, but most importantly Norma reads lists of names which people send her of those who have disappeared or are lost. They hope that by reading these names on the radio they will be able to find their ...more
Stories and parallel structure are great, narrative is fascinating.
A bit difficult to engage in the begining, but the shift in tempo from the present and future back and forth is very attractive.
I recommend this book.
Jan 09, 2009 Yofish rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Yofish by: Smithsonian Special on young innovators
Shelves: read-fiction
A story of a civil war in an unnamed Latin American country. Jumps back and forth in time a lot, and deals mostly with the aftermath (up to 10 years after the war has 'ended'--but part of the point is that it's hard to measure beginnings and endings of these things). "Lost City Radio" refers to a radio show by the main character (Norma), who has people call in and describe/discuss their loved ones who have disappeared for one reason or another, and whom they're hoping to reconnect with. Her husb ...more
A to Z Project, Book 6
Years of war and fear of speaking out have left the survivors in a detached, dreamlike state in Alarcon's powerful novel. Particularly powerful is the device of Lost City Radio, a program that one of the characters hosts where listeners call in and talk lovingly of all the people they've lost. When a boy turns up at the station with a list of names that includes her husband's alias, host Norma begins a search that centers on a small town, a town renamed 1796 by a government
Evocative story about a war between a fascist government and a vague guerrilla movement in an unnamed country in an unnamed era. The lead character is the host of a radio show (thus the title) who reads the names of people who have disappeared or been disappeared during the war. She is handed lists of names in the city markets, people call from distant villages, illiterate people walk to the radio station to tell Norma the names of their missing, in hopes that she will read the names over the a ...more
Very well done. Captures well the feelings of loss and futility of people caught up in the civil war of an unnamed Latin American country.
Norma is a brodcaster on whose radio show people call in with the names of those with show they've lost contact in the hopes that they will be listening and reunited. Norma herself has lost her husband without knowing how or even whether he is alive. One day, a young boy arrives at the station and his story fills in a large gap in her life.
Only one character i
Peruvian born Daniel Alarcon is a newer name in fiction (first full length book) and definitely one to keep an eye on after reading "Lost City Radio." The author tells the story of some unnamed S. American country in the midst of a guerrilla warfare -- between the government military and some freedom - based uprising group named the I.L. When he writes his prose is very beautiful, there's a fluidity to his style but still it lacked any sort of weight; also he asked too many rhetorical questions ...more
Ryan Louis
"She had been here just the day before, but this is what life does to you: things happen all at once, and your sense of time is exploded."

I wish someone gave me this quotation before I started reading this book. I paused before quoting it here...only because I feared it might be a philosophical spolier. When Alarcon writes it on page 245, it seems somewhat anticlimactic. I mean, I've now spent 97% of the novel whisking through time and space in a somewhat fictionalized, not-so-anonymous country
I am not a subscriber. Alarcon has talent and I sympathize with his politics; but something was missing from "Lost City Radio." Perhaps the characters were just a bit too similar; perhaps the all-pervasive traumatized vacancy offered too little traction or perhaps everything was knit together just a bit too tightly. The novel needed to surge somehow, in some direction or around something; but it lingered and reminisced; at most, it brooded.

"The war had bred a general exhaustion. It was a city of
"Lost City Radio" is a haunting and terrifying and quite brilliant novel. It's a political thriller that never wears the author's politics on its sleeve. It's a love story that is gripping and touching and poignant and so very sad. It's a story about war and loss that strikes you in the heart and makes you feel deep down what fear and pain and loss must be like - feelings we've all felt at some level but rarely in the aching way depicted here.

Alarcon is sharp and insightful. He crafts deep, com
Liz Murray
An author I'll definitely be keeping up with. In this novel Alarcon deftly moves between time periods, often with no breaks besides a new paragraph. The chronology of the war could be a bit confusing but you always knew where you were and in the end the chronology isn't as important as what actually happened. I felt the book lost energy towards the end and I wasn't so keen on how the plot turned. The 'revelation' for some reason felt forced to me. I felt it let air out of the balloon and I'm not ...more
Shannon Barry
Although the ending felt a bit rushed to me (probably because I didn't want the story to end), I found this novel complete in nearly every sense. It is a beautiful tale of the dead and undead of war that evokes a lot of emotion and possibility for discussion. The characters are all likeable, even with their flaws, as you get intimate inside glimpses of their world that really allow you to understand the torment they endured which led to their "bad" decisions. This book is all heart, which shines ...more
Una novela con una historia única y profunda que vale la pena, pero que también tiene algunos limitaciones. Alarcón presenta una historia llamativa de varias personas ordinarias en un país imaginario (que representa el Perú natal del autor y otros paises en Latinoamérica que han sufrido lo mismo) durante y después de una guerra entre el gobierno y un grupo guerillero. Alarcón logra mostrar el terror y incertidubre de una sociedad desgarrada por una guerra en que los dos lados propagan miedo, y h ...more
Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon

Norma lives in the capital of a war torn South American country and is a host of a radio show which pays tribute to the country’s disappeared, however she is not allowed to mention the war. Her husband Rey is among the missing and her hopes of finding information escalates with the presence of a boy named Victor who has come from a village with a list of names to be read on air. This just happens to be the same village where Rey was last seen.

This is a very good
This is the sort of book you read in one or two sittings. The plot tears along, not unfolding quickly but building your anticipation quickly, with characters being introduced, explored, and then subtly interwoven into other characters' plot lines in a way that keeps everything moving forward, even when time is moving backward, toward an end you are eager to uncover. The story is one of those delicate tales of living through Latin American political strife that are so often told by authors from t ...more
Janice Herrington
Norma was such an interesting character, surrounded by mystery and sorrow. The tribulations of the civil war seemed very alive to me, and it makes me wonder how authentic some of the scenarios were. I think, probably very realistic. I just wish Rey's absence could've been handled differently. In order for Rey to have been alive, he would either have to have long term amnesia, or be such a wickedly selfish man, I would've ended up disliking him anyway. Actually, I didn't really like Rey, but Norm ...more
Dieses Buch muss gelesen werden. Ein Buch in Zeiten nach einem Bürgerkrieg. In Zeiten der Repression einer neuen paranoiden Regierung, die immer noch nach Verrätern von Paramilitärischen Einheiten sucht. Ein Buch über einen kleinen 11 Jährigen Jungen, der nicht wirklich weiß, wer sein Vater ist. Ein Buch, über eine Frau, die eine Radiomoderatorin ist und seit mehreren Jahren ihren Mann vermisst, den sie auf einer Liste unter anderem Namen wiederfindet von verschollenen Menschen, der ein doppelte ...more
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Daniel Alarcón’s fiction and nonfiction have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, Virginia Quarterly Review, Salon, Eyeshot and elsewhere. He is Associate Editor of Etiqueta Negra, an award-winning monthly magazine based in his native Lima, Peru. His story collection, War by Candlelight, was a finalist for the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award, and the British journal Granta recently name ...more
More about Daniel Alarcón...
At Night We Walk in Circles War by Candlelight: Stories The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook Bogota 39 Ciudad de Payasos (City of Clowns)

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