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The City of Your Final Destination Paperback – Bargain Price, May 11, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Peter Cameron's sublime, beautiful novel City of Your Final Destination concerns true love and a young academic's struggle to break free from a life he's molded but doesn't want to live. Omar Razaghi, who's pursuing a Ph.D. at a Midwestern university, fudges his application for grant money, stating he has already obtained authorization from the family of the deceased minor novelist Jules Gund. When he belatedly seeks permission to proceed, the three executors--Gund's brother, Adam; former wife Caroline; and Arden, Gund's mistress and mother of Gund's daughter, Portia--decline. Prompted by his girlfriend, Deirdre, Omar shows up unexpectedly in Uruguay, seeking to convince the family of his--and their--need for a biography of Jules Gund to exist.

Cameron is an able storyteller, and his command allows the prose to flow simply and beautifully; here, most every word counts. Adam's often hilarious wit and Caroline's recalcitrance are sharply drawn, descriptions are in crisp relief, and Cameron gives us many reasons to smile: "Pete stood there for a moment, as if he were deciding, trying to think of a reason why he must stay with them, but he was not clever enough, and so of course he had to leave." The City of Your Final Destination is a refreshing look at the impact of desire and love on quirky, elegantly drawn characters. --Michael Ferch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Cameron, who has to his credit half a dozen literary novels (e.g., The Weekend) and several publications in The New Yorker and Grand Street, here demonstrates a carefully honed style, an eye for insight and humor, and an ability to create a story that is both substantial and aesthetically pleasing. The plot involves a graduate student in possession of a grant that will allow him the time to write and guaranteed publication of a biography of a now-deceased author whose one published novel seems to speak directly to him. However, the author's literary executors refuse him authorization, so he travels to their home in Uruguay as much to impress his girlfriend as to gain that authorization. The executors are a delightfully odd lot, each self-possessed and deeply flawed. And it is among them that the graduate student finds both true love and a new home. Cameron's capacity to portray emotions and interpersonal communication seems limitless. The good guys, bad guys, and landscapes of rural Uruguay, collegiate Kansas, and even a New York City unseen by one character for 40 years become quickly and convincingly known to the reader. Cheerful without being mindless, this is for all libraries. Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley P.L., CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Media Tie-In edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312656548
  • ASIN: B0058M5THE
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,533,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this wonderful novel after reading Richard Eder's rave review in The New York Times. For once, a critic's hype was absolutelyl justified. I haven't read a more beautifully written and satisfying -- not to mention howlingly funny -- novel in ages. Peter Cameron gives you everything you want from a novel (or at least everything I want): amazingly complex and sympathetic characters, a gorgeous depiction of scene and event (it's no wonder Eder claims the book would make a fantastic movie -- you can almost see the movie as you read the book, it's so vivid and alive), the smartest, wittiest, most moving dialogue of any contemporary writer, and a hurtling plot that encompasses all sorts of human questions of morals and manners and love. The book is a light as a summer breeze, but has considerable depth -- it is explores its moral quandries with the sort of effortless, sure touch of E. M. Forster. My tastes may be old-fashioned, but I didn't think people were writing novels like this anymore: smart, beautiful, supremely moving. No cynicism or authorial ego here. Yes, it's conventional, but wow is it a wonderful book.
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Format: Hardcover
This is Peter Cameron's fourth novel. An intelligent and cleverly written story that deals with facing or avoiding life's choices. It's a page turner that will keep you guessing right from the beginning what the final outcome of the story will be. Cameron, a gay author, best known for his novel, THE WEEKEND, has written an old-fashioned type of story that is a joy to read.

Doctoral student Omar Razaghi wants to write a biography of deceased author Jules Gund. The three executors of the Gund's estate; Caroline, his wife; Arden, his mistress; and his gay brother, Adam, deny Omar's request for permission to write an authorized biography. Omar realizes his only chance to change their minds is to make an unexpected trip to their home in Uruguay. At this point in the story, Omar's whole life seems to become unraveled. Omar is hurled into the center of a cast of mixed-up characters' lives and relationships. Only an author like Cameron could dream up these people, and it's through his talented writing that these characters develop into loving, caring and feeling people. Will Omar be able to face or will he avoid the choices set before him?
I enjoyed this satisfying and hypnotic story. A good book to relax with and spend a couple of "quiet" evenings reading. I hated to see the story end. Check this one out for a rewarding read!
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Format: Hardcover
After reading his prior novels (particularly "The Weekend" and "Andorra"), I've come to expect that Peter Cameron's novels will be beautifully crafted and full of rich, human dialogue and insight. Peter Cameron's new novel, "The City of Your Final Destination," met my expectations and then some. Like his other works, "City" is full with wonderful yet unassuming prose and dialogue, and intelligent observations on modern life. What makes "City" really special, though, is its generosity towards its characters and their fortunes. The novel recounts, without any of that easy cynicism, but with lots of humor, an exiled and splintered family's coming to terms with a beguiling offer from a young graduate student who descends upon them unannounced. Never syruppy or sentimental, Cameron warmly shows us what it's like today to try, all at once, to do the right thing by all, the best thing for yourself and, in the process, manage to carve out a little love and happiness. Not an easy task, but when rendered with heart and pluck by Peter Cameron, it makes for great, rewarding reading. Enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover
Not many people would have heard of Peter Cameron's "The City Of Your Final Destination (COYFD)" had it not garnered a brace of rave notices from book critics and found itself on the shortlist for the PEN/FaulknerAward. I'm just grateful it came to my attention because it's a priceless gem and one of the most offhandedly brilliant and enduring works of literature I have read .
Omar Razaghi desperately needs to obtain authorisation for the publication of the biography of little known novelist Jules Gund but the executors of the late author's estate won't grant it. He needs to change their mind or his university career is over. Egged on by his American girlfriend Deirdre, Omar hops on board a plane and arrives in Uruguay unannounced to do just that. Unbeknown to him, his visit would alter the course of his own life and that of the three executors who chose to languish - frozen in time - in a remote residence in Ochos Rios, inaccessible to casual callers and in a state of uneasy mutual coexistence. Omar's effect on the tired chemistry that binds the wife (Caroline), the mistress (Arden) and the brother (Adam) to each other is imperceptible but real and by the time the story draws to a close, the alignments would have changed forever.
Apart from its tantalisingly exotic premise, COYFD is distinguished by its gloriously pristine dialogue and absolutely marvellous characterisation. Not many writers are capable of writing dialogue of this quality. It's deceptively easy, but eloquent and true and stays well clear of the mundane. The sparkling dialogue that fills the pages never less than illuminates the souls of its characters, each of whom is vividly drawn and etched in our minds.
Omar was tentative, uncertain and confused when he set out for Uruguay.
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