* A thrilling, beautifully written novel about a young man's quest for a lost city in Peru - recalls Alex Garland's THE BEACH
Now in B format.
A thrilling, beautifully written novel about a young man's quest for a lost city in Peru - recalls Alex Garland's THE BEACH
Invalided out of the army at barely twenty, Jackson Small returns to England traumatised by the violent death of his fellow soldier and blood-brother Connolly. Unable to settle and incapacitated by grief, Jackson sets off on a lunatic quest, back to the Peruvian jungle in search of something he cannot even be sure is real: the lost city of La Joya, the ancient capital of a vanished empire - a place of rare wonder once glimpsed by Connolly and never forgotten.
The city is hidden in the cloud forest that hangs between the copper-green rivers of the Andes and the impenetrable jungle of Amazonia. The pilgrimage Jackson has to make to reach it will bring him into contact with worlds he has never before imagined: that of the American patriarch farming in the wilderness, a great-hearted native priest, and the love of his life. But the lethal green depths of the forest that hide La Joya turn out also to conceal other searchers, with motives far more sinister and complex than Jackson's.
** 'Shukman skilfully blends his genres: political intrigue, drug lords and South American militia edge this novel towards a contemporary Boy's Own adventure in the style of Buchan or Rider Haggard, while the poetic prose harks back to Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS ... A powerful debut - DAILY MAIL
** 'Through it all there runs the pledge of genuine literature . . . contains a golden streak of imaginative art - Jan Morris, NEW YORK TIMES
** 'A gripping story of adventure, casual treachery and intrigue ... We want to pray for Jackson's safe passage as he pursues a penitent's journey across a forbidding landscape that is not only brilliantly evoked, but is also a moral and philosophical entity in itself - GUARDIAN
** 'Exquisite ... A big, hearty work that is both gripping and intensely moving. Shukman's breathtaking, lyrical prose propels a pacy plot which, at its most visceral, becomes cinematic in its scope. On the strength of the writing alone, this is a contender - SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
Henry Shukman is the author of two novellas, DARIEN DOGS and SANDSTORM, which won the Author's Club First Novel Award in 2006. His collection of poetry, IN DR NO'S GARDEN, was chosen as one of the Books of the Year in 2003 by both The Times and the Guardian, and was awarded the Aldeburgh Poetry Prize the same year. He has also won the Daily Telegraph Arvon Poetry Prize. He has worked as a travel writer and a trombonist, and sometimes writes for the New York Times. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.