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Lost City Radio Paperback – February 5, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
LOST CITY RADIO is set in an unnamed South American country a decade after the government has crushed the 10-year-long rebellion of a group of insurgents dubbed the "Illegitimate Legion." The war's inciting grievance, if there was one, was soon forgotten and yet the battles raged on, devastating urban neighborhoods and depopulating the towns and villages that dot the countryside. Rey, one of the novel's main characters, muses that the war "would have happened anyway. It was unavoidable. It's a way of life in a country like ours."
Rey is an "ethobotanist committed to the preservation of disappearing plant species." Near the end of the conflict he vanishes in the vicinity of a jungle village renamed "1797," as part of a government program to eradicate vestiges of local history by replacing traditional place names with numbers. Each Sunday night his widow, Norma, hosts a wildly popular program entitled "Lost City Radio" on the government-owned radio station during which she fields calls from people looking for missing family members, many of them victims of the political violence and others simply erased from the lives of their loved ones by the country's advancing urbanization.Read more ›
Sendero Luminoso's often times bizarre campaign to bring down the Peruvian State has been well documented in a number of non-fiction books. It is fairly easy to chronicle the War's story of terrorist bombings, blackouts, army massacres and political assasinations. However, there is another human truth of that conflict that requires the skill and insight of the novelist. I lived in Peru during the mid 1980's and experienced many of the events that are thinly veiled in this story. Through the medium of the novel, Alarcon has been able to successfully recreate the atmosphere and tension that existed at the time. This novel beautifully captures the devestation that survives the end of a long and dirty war.
Finally, it is a sweet oddity of globalization that one of the emerging voices of Latin American literature is a child of the suburbs of Alabama. "Lost City Radio" is an impressive debut novel and is highly recommended.
Then came the first Gulf War, and I started getting phone calls from parents worried about their sons and daughters. Questions such as "Have you heard from Anthony?" "Do you think Maria will have to spend nights in a foxhole?" And the question "Will they all come back home safe?" assaulted me during the day and haunted me at night.
The calls brought back carefree images of teenagers, eager to serve their country, who now faced the possibility of coming home in body bags. These names, and many more, crept back into my consciousness as I read Daniel Alarcón's mesmerizing debut novel, "Lost City Radio."
Alarcón, a Peruvian native who lives in Oakland, where he teaches at Mills College, weaves a harrowing tale of guerrilla warfare in an unnamed South American country that focuses on the devastation inflicted on the lives of family members who are left behind to wonder, worry and weep about loved ones fighting in a conflict in which no one really knows who's right or wrong, or worse yet, how it will all end, if ever.
While the war is the epicenter of the novel, we view it through the lives of three principles who try to make sense of the turmoil the insurgency has dumped upon their lives. Each tries to find answers in the chaos the fighting has brought to their town and village, but with the fog of war prevalent, they seemingly settle on adapting, surviving, and praying for any kind of closure to the mayhem.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first read Lost City Radio nearly three years ago after I had read his then newly-released novel At Night We Walk in Circles. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Vamos a Leer
I loved this book, it was somewhat confusing in some portions of the book, but overall it was great!Published 10 months ago by Arley Lara
An interesting story about a unique society, leading you to think about what you hear and how much of that is controlled by governments. Well written.Published 22 months ago by colin wraight
A very talented author. His portrayal of the characters is insightful. I am looking forward to reading more of Daniel's work.Published on May 14, 2014 by John Garten-Shuman
I like Daniel Alarcon's short stories and was looking forward to seeing how he'd put together a longer work. He pulls it off for the most part. Read morePublished on November 22, 2013 by JB
Very dark and depressing. All about hopeless people leading hopeless lives. If you like that sort of thing, dive in! Read morePublished on November 18, 2013 by Greg Grambor
Knowing that my wife and I were going to Peru, one of my sons-in-law gave me a novel, Lost City Radio, to read. Read morePublished on November 18, 2013 by Wiliam H. Peace