THE GOLD EATERS
Author: Ronald Wright
Type of Book: Softcover Advanced Uncorrected and Unpublished Proof
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Canadian Release Date: September 22, 2015
U.S. Release Date: November 3, 2015
Hardcover Price: $28.95
Publisher: A Hamish Hamilton hardcover from Penguin Canada Books Inc.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
* I was the lucky winner of an advance uncorrected and unpublished proof from the Goodreads Giveaway program. This program is a wonderful way to discover new authors and soon to be released books. Winning books is a great way to expand your library and to read titles that intrigue you, but that you may have overlooked if not for the giveaway.
The word “epic” is consistently overused in the world of fiction. Many books which claim to be “epic tales” are not worthy of that claim. THE GOLD EATERS by Ronald Wright is truly an epic historical novel. It outlines true events from sixteenth century Peru and weaves them together with fictitious characters. This achieves the effect of bringing personalization to the long ago timeline and draws the reader into the tale.
The story begins with a Peruvian boy named Waman who is on the cusp of manhood. He lives what seems to me, an idyllic existence in a tiny fishing village in Northern Peru.
Waman is like every other teenager throughout history. He seeks independence and adventure, as well as the ability to prove that he is old enough to make his own life choices.
When he decides to leave home to seek his future upon the sea, he visualizes a life filled with adventure, much like the life in the stories he has heard all his life from his grandfather. Little does Waman know that the adventure he seeks will be found and will be much more difficult to endure than he ever could have imagined. In fact, it quite possibly might be than he can handle.
On his very first sea voyage, Waman ends up captured by a Spanish sea captain who is seeking the fabled land of Peru. He plans to use Waman as a forced interpreter.
Chained and kept in the bowels of the Spanish ship, Waman immediately regrets following his rash impulse to run away from his boring, but safe life in Little River village.
The story may begin with a simple Peruvian villager, but that young man soon finds his fate tied not only to the Spaniards, but also to the Inca (King) of Peru as well as his descendants.
Ronald Wright’s descriptions of the sixteen century Peruvian landscape and their amazing social structure are simply stunning. It is impossible to read this book and not have vivid pictures appear in the reader’s mind.
I was utterly fascinated by the details of how the Peruvians were able to rule over such a vast geographic area and yet ensure that everyone had enough to eat and poverty simply did not exist. One has to wonder what this amazing civilization might have accomplished had the Spanish never invaded and brought with them the plague of smallpox.
This book is a MUST READ and is destined to be a bestseller.
I am ashamed to admit that before reading THE GOLD EATERS, I had not read any of Ronald Wright’s previous books. After discovering his amazing ability to weave fact and fiction into a compelling and fascinating tale, I plan to read any and all of his books as soon as possible.
I rate THE GOLD EATERS as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Historian, novelist, and essayist Ronald Wright is the award-winning author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction published in 16 languages and more than 40 countries.
Much of his work explores the relationships between past and present, peoples and power, other cultures and our own.
A Short History of Progress, in which he examines humankind’s increasingly precarious “experiment” with civilization, was the best-selling book in the 50-year history of the prestigious CBC Massey Lecture Series, winning the Libris Award for Nonfiction Book of the Year. Martin Scorsese’s Surviving Progress, a documentary film based on the book and produced by Cinémaginaire, Mark Achbar, and other members of The Corporation team, premiered in fall 2011 (see News).
Wright’s first novel, A Scientific Romance, a nightmare future of our making, won Britain’s David Higham Prize for Fiction and was chosen a book of the year by the New York Times, the Sunday Times, the Mail on Sunday, and the Globe & Mail. His other bestsellers include Time Among the Maya and Stolen Continents, a history of the Americas since Columbus which won the Gordon Montador Award and was chosen a book of the year by the Independent and the Sunday Times.
Wright contributes criticism to the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other publications. He has also written and presented documentaries for radio and television on both sides of the Atlantic. His 2008 history, What Is America?, was a No.1 bestseller and finalist for the B.C. Book Prize.
Born in England to Canadian and British parents, Wright read archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University and has been awarded two honorary doctorates. He spent many years in Mexico and South America, Africa, and the South Seas, travelling for his books, taking part in anthropological research, and recording indigenous music. While in Peru he also wrote Lonely Planet’s first Quechua (Inca) phrasebook.
Wright lives on Canada’s West Coast. His latest novel, The Gold Eaters, is published by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Canada and Riverhead/Penguin USA in fall 2015. Three of his earlier works are also newly available in Penguin Modern Classics.
To learn more about this author visit http://www.ronaldwright.com