Beyond the Silver River – Reviews

“A collection of travel pieces which convey the sights, sounds and smells of the often desolate countries of South America with great sensitivity, a sense of history, and at times, poetry. Seldom has the task been better done.” 
New Statesman

“South America has inspired an enormous number of travel books. This one is dinstinguished by two principal virtues. First, theauthor has an enviable ability to select facts, linking individual experiences with larger themes. Second, he looks at the chacetristics of each country in isolation rather than forcing his observations into generalisations about the whole continent. In Brazil he finds a culture of body worship, in Argentina a sad mixture of colonial grandeur and impoverishment. With its brutal regime, Chile offers him the chance to see the subversive hopes of a people that never unite in public demonstration. The chapters are brief, but each paragraph reflects a rare depth of thought.” 
Austin MacCurtain,Sunday Times

“In the long shadow of Bruce Chatwin, Burns acquits himself well…This book is full of charm. Burns is a shrewd observer, deftly evocative of place.” 
Ronald Wright, The Times Literary Supplement

“The most enduring image is of Siamese twins in Ecuador. They lie on the back of a cart covered in flies. Burns thinks they are dead, but suddenly they jerk alive in a fit of epilepsy. For some reason, it was a scene where the continent’s hard, unyielding soil seemed most like giving.” 
Nicholas Shakespeare

“The strength of Jimmy’s book is in the hard detail and common sense, adding up to a vision of South America which looks realistic to someone who has never been there.” 
Nicholas Wollaston, Observer

“His scenes and landscapes have a vivid, cinematic quality.” 
Isabel Hilton, Independent

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