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In the Shadow of the Conquistador

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  10 ratings  ·  9 reviews
After a silence of twenty years, Jimmy receives an unexpected letter from his old friend and nemesis, George, inviting him on a trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Arriving in Lima, Jimmy finds the ailing George as mercurial as ever. They begin their odyssey, catching up on the intervening years, reliving periods when their lives had intersected, and revisiting the ...more
Paperback, First, 246 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Blue Denim Press
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Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
In the Shadow of the Conquistador, Shane Joseph’s 2015 novel about friendship, loyalty, and the soul crushing hunger of conquest is both absorbing and thought provoking, leading the reader along the narrow jungle trails towards a conclusion at Machu Picchu.

Because of it’s setting, themes and style this was somewhat reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway, Malcolm Lowry (though this is much better structured and disciplined), Carnal Knowledge, and obliquely, like Joseph Conrad’s 1915 novel Victory.

Two o
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a strangely satisfying novel, with a main focus on the relationship of two men and the woman that they both loved.

The novel does take place mostly in Peru when the two old friends reunite for an adventure. One is a lady's man, moving from one "conquest" to another through his whole life, while the other is a bit more regular. The whole novel spans their entire history, the love triangle between them and their loss.

It mirrors the history of Peru as they go to visit it and their adventu
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of serious general fiction
Shane Joseph is a thoughtful and perceptive writer, mostly of serious general fiction. By "serious," I don't mean devoid of humor --this novel, for instance, like real life, has its funny moments-- but rather a seriousness of purpose: he seeks to illuminate the human condition, in ways that will make his readers think and feel more deeply, and maybe grow personally as a result. I'm privileged to be one of his Goodreads friends; and since I'd earlier read and liked his story collection, Paradise ...more
Paul Patterson
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, can-con
He felt his life was heading towards its climax and it would happen here in Peru, amidst the ghosts and skeletons of the conquistadors who had blatantly raped and pillaged to achieve their selfish ends, but who had built their empires and left their stamp on the world. It was exhilarating too, this feeling of connectedness with history, to realize that he was not alone, despite the delinquent life he had led.

I was recently in Peru, so one can imagine how intrigued I was by the idea of this n
Waheed Rabbani
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Preface: This review was previously published in the Book Review Literary Trust of India April 2016 issue

Our story must have a better ending, than the Inca’s. Or else we wouldn’t have progressed in five hundred years.

In a recent interview [1], US President Barack Obama said, “when I think about how I understand my role as citizen, setting aside being president, and the most important set of understandings that I bring to that position of citizen,
Sharon Crawford
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-reading
Shane Joseph’s latest novel, In the Shadow of the Conquistador. deals with people’s expectations when they are young, what they do to attain them, and coming to grips in middle age with the results.

Joseph’s two main characters, long-time friends George Walton and Jeremy “Jimmy” Spence meet as school children living in Toronto’s east end. George is aggressive and Jimmy is withdrawn. However, the two become close friends, with Jimmy, like the novel’s title, living in George’s shadow. A third char
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shane Joseph’s most recent novel “In the Shadow of the Conquistador” is his boldest work to date. It is unflinching in its portrayal of the self-centered George, who is driven by both his insatiable sexual desires and his lust for power, and his best friend Jimmy who is everything George is not.

The lifelong, on-again off-again friendship of George and Jimmy is traced across Canada, across the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu where they reunite for an odyssey of self-discovery, and through the eyes of
Ronald Mackay
rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2018
Shauna Clinning
Shane Joseph has woven an intricate tale of how men and women destroy each other, tying together the past, the recent past, and the present. His novel is told from three points of view, with a fourth interlaid through a story within a story, an ambitious undertaking for anyone. Jimmy and George are haunted by their pasts, as well as the memory of Denise, a woman they have both loved and, in their own ways, used or abused. George and Jimmy make a trip to Peru, where their pasts collide with the n ...more
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Small and Indepen...: In the Shadow of the Conquistador, by Shane Joseph 3 4 Apr 08, 2017 10:07AM  
Shane Joseph is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers in Toronto, Canada. He began writing as a teenager living in Sri Lanka and has never stopped. Redemption in Paradise, his first novel, was published in 2004 and his first short story collection, Fringe Dwellers, in 2008. His novel, After the Flood, a dystopian epic set in the aftermath of global warming, was released in November 2009, and ...more

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