Andes | Granta

  • Published: 05/05/2011
  • ISBN: 9781847081766
  • 129x20mm
  • 592 pages


Michael Jacobs

Stretching for over 5500 miles, and containing the highest active volcanoes in the world, the largest salt flat, the highest lake, and peaks rivalled in size only by the Himalayas, the Andes impress by statistics alone. But beyond the range’s sheer immensity is its concentration of radically contrasting scenery and climates. In this remarkable book, Michael Jacobs journeys from the balmy Caribbean to the inhospitable islands of the Tierra del Fuego, through the relics of ancient civilizations, to retrace the footsteps of previous travellers. His route begins in Venezuela, following the path of the great 19th-century revolutionary Simón Bolívar. On his way Jacobs attempts to uncover the stories of those who have shared his fascination, and to reveal the secrets of a region steeped in history, science and myth.

A discursive account not only of a foot-slogging and bus-bumping journey along the entire length of the Andes but, also, of a trip through the geography, history, culture and mythology of very diverse countries and climates. Great adventures require the support of explorers who have gone before and the generosity of the peoples still there. Jacobs gives full value to all who helped him on his epic way

Iain Finlayson, The Times

Jacobs's unmannered style and easy erudition is a delight ... A book of personal fascination rather than mere wonder, Andes is as assured as any of the prime travel classics; it has a range, lightness and yet grandeur about it and will surely endure

Benedict Allen, Guardian

Michael Jacobs is uniquely qualified to take on the precipitous spine of South America ... he is the best kind of traveller, curious and learned ... Andes achieves something that no other book I know of has managed, which is to capture the experience and something of the essence of one of the world's great mountain chains and convey it with style, learning and passion

Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times

The Author

Michael Jacobs was born in Italy and studied art history in London and the US. He is the author of several travel books and was shortlisted for the 2004 Thomas Cook Travel Book Prize and the 2013 Dolman Travel Book Award. He lived in Spain and London. He died in January 2014.

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