Book Review: Life and Death in the Andes

Marilyn MurphyBook Reviews

Furry friends: 2018

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” -T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom From the moment of my reading this opening quote, Kim MacQuarrie had me riding along with him as he traveled up and down the vein of the Andes gathering well-researched historical and current facts. I was drawn into his stories about legendary figures—Pablo Escobar, Hiram Bingham, Che Guevara, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Abimael Guzmán, and Charles Darwin—and others we might consider … Read More

Book Review: Turn Right at Machu Picchu

Bob MillerBook Reviews

For much of my life, I have loved tramping around in remote places in the American Southwest. Finding blank spots on the map, I’ve enjoyed exploring them, discovering magical secrets few others know about, based on whispered rumors or perhaps just telltale bits of interesting topography on USGS maps. Or, as often happens these days, I imagine the adventures my creaking joints and busy calendar no longer so enthusiastically sign up for. In Turn Right at Machu Picchu, author Mark Adams delivers a delightful itinerary for the imagination of the “Gee, I wish I could (still!) do that” would-be adventurer. Adams relates his real-life experiences as an unlikely explorer on his own ill-advised “bucket list” adventure trekking the Andean highlands. Retracing the path … Read More

Book Review: Death in the Andes

Bob MillerBook Reviews

Death in the Andes, written by celebrated Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, is on its surface a “whodunit,” set in the dark period when the Shining Path revolutionary terrorists (Sendero Luminoso terrucos) were conducting their campaign of terror in the remote mountain communities of the Peruvian highlands. One more horror in a place rife with rumors of flesh-harvesting pishtacos (evil monster-like men) and with hardship, suspicion, and mistrust—where even the landscape itself is out to destroy those who dare to trespass. Corporal Litumo and his adjunct Tomás Carreño are assigned to the dusty mining and road-building camp of Naccos, charged with discovering the common fate of three missing men. Little ties these three victims together: one was a nearby town … Read More