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The City of Your Final Destinationby Peter Cameron
Synopses & Reviews
A wryly humorous, impeccably observed novel about the capriciousness of loveOmar Razaghi posts a letter on September 13, 1995 that will change the course of his life forever. A doctoral student at the University of Kansas, he writes to the estate of the Latin American author Jules Gund, requesting permission to write Gund's authorized biography. His request is refused, but Omar has already accepted a fellowship from the university, and with his girlfriend's vehement encouragement, he goes in person to Uruguay to petition to Gund's three executors. Although Caroline Gund, Jules' wife, and Arden Langdon, Jules' mistress and mother of his child, are initially opposed to the idea of a biography, Omar has the support of Adam, Jules' older brother, and hopes to be able to persuade the two women. Omar's unexpected arrival in Uruguay reverberates through this odd and isolated little family group, and his stay in the languid, dreamy Ochos Rios makes him question his former life in Kansas, and his ability-even his desire-to write an "authorized" life. A novel about the random nature of love, and the ways in which we confront or avoid life's choices, The City of Your Final Destination is a touching, clever and wonderfully comic fourth novel from Peter Cameron.
"[E]xceptionally moving and self-assured....Witty, intelligent, engrossing: Cameron offers a leisurely and old-fashioned narrative that nonetheless moves directly to a surprising but credible end." Kirkus Reviews
"Although they're eventful, the novels of Peter Cameron have the feeling of an idyll, the languor of a late afternoon in early summer, when the low thrill of youthful hope seems to go hand in hand with the wit of a more seasoned perspective on life....What this [story] involves, largely, is conversation, some of the best dialogue to be found in any novel published in the past year or so....Even the less formidable characters emerge effortlessly whole in the course of a few pages....Cameron is a writer of strange and sneaky allure — he can tell you more by not telling you something that ought to be humanly, or at least artistically, possible. City of Your Final Destination, like Cameron's previous novel, Andorra, transpires like a dream, sweet if also sometimes barbed, and ends on an unexpected grace note. It's a generous, sunny book, with just enough shadows to hint at the mysterious territory that lies beneath its surface." Laura Miller, Salon.com
"Wonderful...lithe and supple...one of the most satisfying denouements in recent memory." John Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle
"Cause for celebration....A beautiful and elegant novel, [this] has the lightness and airiness of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream." James Schiff, The Raleigh News & Observer
"[With] dancelike wit...Manners and morals, a combinant phrase long out of fashion, finds exhilarating rebirth in City." Richard Eder, The New York Times
"Cameron...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." Library Journal
"Intriguing....Singular....An English drawing room comedy [with] a touch of Rattigan or Wilde." Lavina Greenlaw, The New York Times Book Review
Omar Razaghi posts a letter on September 13, 1995, that will change the course of his life forever. A novel about the random nature of love and the ways in which we confront or avoid life's choices, "The City of Your Final Destination" is a touching comic fourth novel from Peter Cameron.
Omar Razaghi is a graduate student determined to write the authorized biography of the late Latin American author Jules Gund. But when his request is denied by the author's family, Omar must leave behind his life in Kansas appeal to them in person--at their crumbling estate in Ocho Rios, Uruguay. There Omar meets Gund's wife, his mistress, and his brother, all living in close quarters, and his relationship with each of them develops all kinds of unforeseen complications.
About the Author
Peter Cameron is the author of The Weekend and Andorra. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Grand Street, and The Paris Review. He lives in New York City.
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