Lost City Radio

“Lost City Radio” by Daniel Alarcon (Peru)


Most readers found the story both sad and moving, and felt that the author successfully maintained the sad tone throughout the whole book. His use of language evoked the tension and fear created by the conflict. There were mixed feelings about the characters, with some readers finding them well portrayed and likeable, albeit their duality, whereas others found them ambiguous. A couple of readers felt that there were too many points-of-view and that, as a result, some of the characters were not developed well enough. Although most readers liked the back-and-forth in time structure, a few found it confusing and felt that it prevented a steady build-up of tension. One reader described it as a post-modern novel, which didn’t really engage her. Readers liked the descriptions of the different settings – the city and the Tamoé district, the village and the jungle, the ‘Moon’- which they felt gave the story a truly special atmosphere. Overall, they thought it was a good first novel and it averaged a 7.6 out of 10.


Ever since the civil war that took her husband ended, Norma has been the voice of consolation to a people broken by violence. Every week, bereft families listen to her radio show as she reads out the names of the missing, those who vanished in the clamour and brutality of the drawn-out conflict, with the hope of reuniting the few survivors with their families… Read more

Season 10 – “First Novels” (Sep 2009 – Jan 2010)

“The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga (India) *
“The Blood of Flowers” by Anita Amirrezvani (Iran)
“Lost City Radio” by Daniel Alarcon (Peru)
“Nervous Conditions” by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe) *
“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison (U.S.)

Extra book:
“The Vagrants” by Yiyun Li (China)

* The book club favourites
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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