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The Last Days of the Incas Hardcover – 28 Jun 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 28 Jun 2007
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 522 pages
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster; U.S. and Canadian Edition edition (28 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074326049X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743260497
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,711,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'A colorful, superbly crafted historical narrative that masterfully demonstrates that when cultures collide, unforeseen and tragic consequences follow....also a memorable adventure story, revealing the modern Indiana Jones-type characters that unearthed, and continue to discover, lost parts of the Inca Empire. 'Last Days of the Incas' is historical writing at its best.' --Broughton Coburn, author of 'Everest: Mountain Without Mercy'

Book Description

The haunting story of the destruction of a magnificent civilisation. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting insight on the Inca empire. From the beginning of the end to the cruel end by the hand of Spanish conquistadors.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
EXTRAORDINARY, GRIPPING, COMPELLING, HARROWING, COMPREHENSIVE, IMPECCABLE, UNPUTDOWNABLE,... I AM AT A LOSS FOR WORDS TO EXPRESS MY ADMIRATION. THIS IS A TRIUMPH OF HISTORICAL WRITING AND STORYTELLING. I WOULD DEFY ANYONE NOT TO FIND IT AS RIVETING AS ANY TOP THRILLER. IT IS SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE THAT A BETTER BOOK WILL EVER BE WRITTEN ON THIS SUBJECT.AN UTTERLY ADMIRABLE BOOK. MLB
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are a LOT of Inca ruins in Peru and I heard more than one person comment "They're all more or less the same" but when you read this book each building really comes to life. Imagining the Incas defending Sacsaywaman against the Spanish, or the walls of Qoricancha lined with gold makes the whole place so much more interesting and exciting! I definitely recommend this book to anyone even vaguely interested in the Incas and definitely anyone planning to visit the sacred valley in Peru. But finish it before you go, I only got 2/3 of the way through and hence missed out on visiting several of the ruined cities that I'm now desperate to go back for!
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the most informative ancient history books I've ever read. It reads like a novel and is so discriptive that it feels as though you are there, witnessing the atrocities and wishing something could have been done to change the overall outcome. I couldn't put it down and actually felt quite sad when I came to the end.
An excellent read.
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Format: Paperback
It has always surprised me that no-one with a Hollywood-sized budget and a thirst for action has ever committed to telling the story of the Conquest of the Incas. I sincerely hope that with the release of this book (that will surely supersede all others on the topic for the foreseeable future) the penny will drop.

Kim MacQuarrie's book is a breathless iteration of this epic tale, surpassing even John Hemming's landmark 1970's rendition by drawing on some alternative sources and taking a slightly more imaginative angle (although there are notable - and necessary - similarities in the first half). The depth and professionalism of the research is unquestioned, the fluidity of the language enviable.

It has become a little cheap, lazy and hackneyed to refer to any episode in history as `The Greatest Story Ever Told', yet all - all - of the ingredients are undoubtedly here: seemingly insurmountable odds; immense clashes of culture and technology; treachery; shifting allegiances; unrequited love and its occasional terrible repercussions; soaring mountains and steamy jungles; and not least the giddy excitement of lost cities being rediscovered. It takes a great deal of skill to render this into a tight, uncompromising narrative whilst simultaneously displaying passion and fairness in your subject. MacQuarrie succeeds superbly.

The exotic location and almost alien outlook on life being displayed by Incas and Conquistadors alike suggest something quite other-earthly about this breathtaking saga, and you do have to keep reminding yourself that its true - no, there is no ethereal MiddleEarth magic on display here, although the story is no less grand as a result.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
MacQuarrie conjurs up a vivid history of the Inca Empire and its conquest by the Spaniards. Rather like Bible stories, he has used his imagination to paint a vibrant picture of the events of the time; unlike the Bible stories he has more factual evidence upon which to base them. For those who have visited Lima, Cuzco and the surrounding areas it is easy to envisage the unfolding tale; indeed, many of the sites are now visible and visitable.
The book could have done with a few more maps and illustrations, but if read in conjunction with "The Illustrated History of the Incas" by David M Jones, then all will fall into place.
The book is very readable and is up-to-date with the latest archeological evidence and interpretations. Highly recommended; read it before you go there.
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Format: Hardcover
Before I read this book, my knowledge of the Inca Empire was limited to a vague notion that they once had a great civilization that was quickly destroyed by a small bunch of Spaniards. I had no idea of the blood curdling drama that awaited me. Kim MacQuarrie's book is a riveting, thrill a minute tale written with such a skillful combination of elegant restraint and high stakes immediacy that I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter and on some occasions, (like when Manco Inca first mobilized the Incas into rebellion to name but one example), I had to remind myself to exhale. Right up to the end, I was willing the Incas to prevail, all the while knowing that their days were numbered. The fact that all the issues it so painstakingly and beautifully brings to the surface are scarily relevant to today's world does the book no disservice either. Read it.
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Format: Paperback
First things first, this is a very well written and thoroughly absorbing account of Pizarro's conquest of the Incan Empire bookended with the archaeological importance of remaining Incan sites such as Macchu Picchu.

It is page turning stuff as this most incredible story unfolds like a fantasy novel and yet of course this all happened...sort of.

My one major issue is to bring this story so vividly to life, there is too much conjecture. True what Kim Macquarrie assumes is reasonable but it is still made up by the author rather than historical fact. Too often we are told what people are thinking in the situation or how some one delivered a line and then leapt onto their horse to ride into the afternoon sun. Evocative stuff but blatantly made up and while in this book the conjecture is never unreasonable too often in "history" books these lapses of good historical writing lead to biased and worryingly incorrect books that people read as "fact".

So have a read and enjoy, just be aware of the literary gloss.

If you liked this there's more historical debate and fun at @HistoryGems on Facebook and Twitter
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