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About the Book

About the Book

The City of Your Final Destination

Upon reading The City of Your Final Destination, one gets the sense that the author has spent years in Uruguay studying his surroundings in great detail. In truth, Cameron never set foot there, although his writing is as seamless as though he were a native. His alluring South American setting, moreover, provides the perfect backdrop for the novel, its searching, eccentric characters, and the issues they all face.

The City of Your Final Destination is the story of Omar Razaghi, a doctoral student at the University of Kansas who, due to a serious lapse in judgment, is forced to embark upon a life-altering journey.

A kind-hearted but directionless academic, Omar has received a grant from his university to write a biography of deceased Latin American author Jules Gund. This grant has been paid to Omar based upon authorization to write the book- authorization he claims to have-but in truth, has delinquently requested. His life takes a turn for the worse upon hearing from the executors of the Gund literary estate (comprised of Gund's wife, Caroline; his brother, Adam; and his mistress, Arden), that his request for authorization has been denied. Faced with the probability of losing his fellowship, and prodded by his overbearing girlfriend, he makes an unannounced trip to Uruguay in an attempt to convince the Gund clan otherwise. Omar's intrusion into these characters' lives provides the catalyst for the novel, and becomes a vehicle by which we're able to scrutinize each person's desires, motives, and fears.

Each individual, Omar included, is forced to confront why they do or do not want this biography. In effect, his crusade to write about the life of one man reveals the biographies of both himself and those he beseeches. Despite the strength of the complex, vulnerable and well-drawn characters, it's the author's writing style and use of language that take center stage in this novel.

Cameron possesses an uncanny ability to write around the character, and his talent for providing just enough insight to allow us to draw our own conclusions is superb. The language is often ironic with overtones of deep emotion, and the author flows back and forth between pain and longing and humor with ease. Such strong prose facilitates the larger issues found in the novel-namely, the concept of and motives behind a biography, the search for happiness, and the time-honored themes of loss and love.

The City of Your Final Destination
by Peter Cameron

  • Publication Date: April 29, 2003
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Plume
  • ISBN-10: 0452284309
  • ISBN-13: 9780452284302