In the Shadow of the Conquistador by Shane JosephIn the Shadow of the Conquistador by Shane Joseph

In the Shadow of the Conquistador

byShane Joseph

Paperback | October 1, 2015

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After a silence of twenty years, Jimmy receives an unexpected letter from his old friend and nemesis, George, inviting him on a trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Arriving in Lima, Jimmy finds the ailing George as mercurial as ever. They begin their odyssey, catching up on the intervening years, reliving periods when their lives had intersected, and revisiting the events that destroyed their relationship.Both men are haunted by the enigmatic Denise, the woman they had lured, loved and lost in Canada. Their conquest of Denise parallels the plunder of Peru by conquistadors Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, the topic of a novel that George is writing in an attempt at self-discovery.On the Inca Trail, George and Jimmy meet trekkers Ali and Bea who exhibit the duality of Denise: beauty and introspection. They team up, even share tents. But there are many treacherous turns along the Trail before the travelers arrive in the sacred city where George is forced to confront his personal demons and Jimmy is pushed to reverse the legacy of the conquistadors.In this novel, Shane Joseph explores the hunger for conquest that drives change, the bonds of friendship that sustain faith, and the power of love that transcends evil.
Title:In the Shadow of the ConquistadorFormat:PaperbackDimensions:246 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.52 inPublished:October 1, 2015Publisher:Blue Denim Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1927882109

ISBN - 13:9781927882108

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Customer Reviews of In the Shadow of the Conquistador

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bold and Unflinching Portrayal of Love and Friendship Shane Joseph’s most recent novel “In the Shadow of the Conquistador” is his boldest work to date. It is unflinching in its portrayal of the self-centered George, who is driven by both his insatiable sexual desires and his lust for power, and his best friend Jimmy who is everything George is not. The lifelong, on-again off-again friendship of George and Jimmy is traced across Canada, across the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu where they reunite for an odyssey of self-discovery, and through the eyes of the enigmatic Denise whom they both love in their distinctly flawed ways. “In the Shadow of the Conquistador” explores the tortuous path love can, and the price that sometimes comes with it, as well as how friendship can be based as much on differences as on similarities. It pulls no punches in exploring the personal demons of its characters – a compelling read
Date published: 2016-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Shane Joseph again creates compelling characters in latest novel Shane Joseph’s latest novel, In the Shadow of the Conquistador. deals with people’s expectations when they are young, what they do to attain them, and coming to grips in middle age with the results. Joseph’s two main characters, long-time friends George Walton and Jeremy “Jimmy” Spence meet as school children living in Toronto’s east end. George is aggressive and Jimmy is withdrawn. However, the two become close friends, with Jimmy, like the novel’s title, living in George’s shadow. A third character, Denise Langevin, whom both men love but only one marries, keep the two men connected, sometimes in mind only, with several separations, sometimes due to job locations, sometimes due to their personal conflict. There is also a fourth “character” – the novel Conquistador, written over the years by George, which is inserted as a parallel to the main story. Conquistador is Spanish for conqueror and lady-killer, both of which apply to George’s modus operandi going through life. George’s novel tells the story of the Spanish conquering the Incas in Peru in the 1500s, particularly the Spanish leader, Francisco, who like George, is compelled to conquer – in his case – the Incas. The novel begins with the two men, now middle-aged, meeting in Lima. Peru, at George’s request, after a 20-year separation. Ostensibly they are there to climb the Andes Mountain to the Machu Picchu, an historic site from the Incan reign before the Spanish conquest. As they hike the treacherous route with their guide Valdez, Jimmy’s and George’s past parades before them, taunting and terrorizing them. In Lima they meet two women, Ali and Bea, 15 years their junior. Ali is a spitting image of Denise and shy Bea has a large facial scar. The inevitable seems to be building up, but just when you are expecting it, Joseph adds a few twists. Joseph intertwines this past with the present, each driving the novel forward. The reader learns that George is a womanizer, to extremes, and that trait cost him a possible political career, his career in academia and his wife, Denise. Denise turns to Jimmy, but he is a control freak and as neither man let her “do her own thing” she leaves them both and returns to her native Montreal where her mother is dying. The difficult climb up the mountain, done in spurts over several days acts as a catalyst for George and Jimmy to sort out the consequences of their lives. As they interact with each other and the two women, both learn that you can’t always get what you want in life, but the alternative can be a better road to take, or if you live too hard and selfish, sometimes it is too late to do anything but accept the consequences. Joseph continues to write a compelling story with real-life characters that readers can relate to. Only one negative – I wish the actual years for the past would have been headlined at the beginning of each pertinent section as I got confused a few times, especially when Denise and Jimmy meet after seven years of not seeing each other and Denise has aged, but the timeline is not as far along as I thought. The only dates are the ones at the top of Denise’s letters to her mother and the odd reference by Jimmy to starting university in 1968. And I never did figure out exactly where in middle age George and Jimmy are when they meet in Peru. But dates aside, I suggest reading In the Shadow of the Conquistador in one or two sittings to get the most out of it. Reviewed by Sharon A. Crawford Author of Beyond Blood and Beyond the Tripping Point
Date published: 2015-11-11