To The Last City, Paperback Book
0.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


To the Last City is set deep in the Peruvian Andes, where five ill-prepared travellers - men and women with different values, temperaments and motives - find themselves trekking through one of the most exacting and beautiful regions on earth.

It is a journey which may temper or destroy them. They confront not only their relationships with one another, but also the enigmas of the country's past, the dangers of its present, and the limitations of their own minds and bodies.

The 'lost city' of their destination is Vilcabamba, last refuge of the Inca against the Spaniards, subsumed by jungle for four hundred years.

In this brilliant exploration of the psychological challenges of travelling, set within the exotic jungle of South America, Colin Thubron for the first time joins his highly acclaimed talents as a travel writer with his gifts as a novelist.


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This isn't quite a novel. I feel for the author, because his ambition to write a novel is apparent on each page, and even embodied by the principal character. It is a common desire, and it becomes poignant when the author is aware of it, and aware of his shortcomings, and can't quite solve them. In this case Thubron has the adventure story, the elements of an interesting interaction between characters, and the possibility of a developed moral and ethical theme. But he just can't build characters, can't give them life, can't break out of the feeling that each scene is imagined as it might appear in a movie. We see that, and so does he, and we root for the author, but it just does not add up to a novel. A screenplay, yes, but not a novel.

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