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Lost Canyon by Nina Revoyr

Lost Canyon (original 2015; edition 2015)

by Nina Revoyr (Author)

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7616235,651 (3.61)16
Title:Lost Canyon
Authors:Nina Revoyr (Author)
Info:Akashic Books (2015), 320 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Lost Canyon by Nina Revoyr (2015)

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    The River at Night by Erica Ferencik (sturlington)
  2. 00
    Deliverance by James Dickey (sturlington)
    sturlington: Lost Canyon struck me as an updated version of Deliverance.

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Lost Canyon by Nina Revoyr is a survival story about a group of backpackers who find themselves in a world of trouble when they stumble upon a marijuana grow-op in the middle of the Sierras. What starts as a pleasant 4 day retreat from the bustle of Los Angles, becomes a nightmare trip as they are caught up in a battle between a drug cartel and some white supremists.

Of the four hikers only one, Tracy, is a seasoned back-country expert and she is the leader of the expedition. She works as a personal trainer and the other three are clients. Two of which, Oscar and Gwen, have very little experience in hiking, Todd, the last of the four, grew up in a rural place and has spent time in the woods and has hunting experience.

The story is told from three viewpoints, that of Gwen, Todd and Oscar. These people do not know each other well and have very different backgrounds. First they are turned away from their original planned route due to a forest fire. They decide to go far into the little travelled back-country for a thirty mile round trip but what begins as a trip to push their personal boundaries becomes a dangerous effort to survive.

I am the perfect audience for a book like this as I love survival stories. This exciting thriller kept me interested and turning the pages right to the end. Of course, as in all thrillers there was a certain amount of unlikely events that one has to swallow in order for the book to come together, but I was quite willing in this case to do so. The author did a great job in her descriptions of the scenic beauty that is to be found in the Sierra Nevadas but I wasn’t a huge fan of the twist at the end of book. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Sep 3, 2016 |
Deliverance meets the movie Crash in this survival adventure.

Well, that summary is perhaps a bit too pithy for what this book is and what it's trying to be. It concerns four Los Angelinos--Gwen, an African-American youth counselor; Oscar, a Hispanic realtor; and Todd, wealthy white lawyer--who go for a four-day hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains, led by Tracy, their thrill-seeking Japanese-American female trainer. I mention race because it is important to this story, and Revoyr spends some time setting up the back stories of the three hikers, jumping into each of their heads. Despite the idyllic natural setting, the tension begins to build before they even start hiking, as they first stop at a strange country store and then are told by the park ranger that their chosen trail has been closed due to a wildfire in the area. Egged on by Tracy, they decide to take the ranger's suggestion and hike a little-known trail outside of the park, for which their only guide is a decades-old, hand-drawn map. After one nice day hiking, they take a wrong turn, and events get terrifying fast. As the suspense picks up, so does the pace, making this a very quick read.

Through this straightforward adventure story, Revoyr is trying to take on race relations and turn stereotypes on their head, as she fleshes out her three point-of-view characters and shows how they each rise above expectations and overcome the challenges being thrown at them left and right. She does a great job making these three feel like real people, allowing the reader to wonder what we'd do if we were in their places; however, her villain comes across as somewhat cartoonish in contrast. Of course, the character who most intrigued me was Tracy, whose decisions were pretty much responsible for their predicament, and it was frustrating that we were never allowed to really know her. At the end, she literally disappears, which left me feeling dissatisfied. Overall, though, this is not only an exciting adventure story, but also raises a lot of interesting issues, about how we view one another and ourselves, and how extreme situations can help us get to the truth. ( )
  sturlington | Feb 1, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Four city dwellers of different ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds decide to take a weekend hike through the Sierra Nevada mountains. They’re led by their fitness trainer, who is ill-prepared and makes some bad decisions along the way. After taking a little used trail and coming across a marijuana field, the hikers run into some unsavory characters, who want to take their lives, and the story revolves around the four of them trying to get out of the canyon without being shot to death.

Although it starts out rather slow, giving background information on each hiker, the suspense eventually builds and kept my attention. The author did a good job of describing the scenery, both the beauty of the mountains and the dangers that lurk within.

Although some portions were hard to believe, and I wasn’t fond of the ending, all in all I’m glad I experienced the work of this author. ( )
  pinklady60 | Dec 30, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Reviewed for LibraryThing Early Reviewers

At first, I was really unsure about this novel. My first reaction was that I was in for a 300 or so page lecture on victimhood and Political Correctness. I must congratulate the author because I think my misconception was her intention.

LOST CANYON addresses the weakness of Political Correctness subtly and potently without resort to the term itself or its myriad manifestations. In fact, it appears to be about racism, and in a sense it is, but in a nuanced and profoundly intelligent way. More, it is about the prevalence of racial stereotyping by one and all and all that we miss out on because of it. It is the story of four people whose limitations in perspective are overcome and transcended during the course of a week in the wilderness.

Gwen, an African American social worker; Oscar, a Latino real estate agent; and Todd, a white attorney are brought together under the leadership of their personal trainer, a Japanese American named Tracy. We are introduced to each of them individually and learn their backstories independent of the others. This is important because although, as it is in real life, the first impression we receive is their race or ethnic background, we also learn who they are beyond the surface and begin to care about them. As they meet each other and begin their wilderness adventure together, we are privy to their inner thoughts and perceptions of each other. Because we have already met each of them, we know how wrong they are about each other. It is a journey for us, the reader, to take with them as they learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses, come to look to each other for help and finally to become united in their common experience.

Revoyr is a skillful and talented writer. It was a pleasure to read her. The beauty, atmosphere, wonder and power of the setting in the Sierra Nevada is beautifully evoked. Her characters are lovingly and compassionately fleshed out. And the plot swings you up and will not let you down until the very, very end. ( )
  scenik1 | Nov 9, 2015 |
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The body is the one thing you can't fake; it's just got to be there.
- -- James Dickey, Deliverance
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.
- - Rene Daumel, Mount Analogue
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The picture opened on Gwen's computer revealing a lake framed by pine trees, a backdrop of snow-covered peaks.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161775353X, Hardcover)

"Four unlikely Angelinos on a backpacking trip in the High Sierra discover that the perils of contemporary life don't stop at the trailhead. Rarely have the glories and hardship of backcountry travel, and the grandeur of this landscape, been so effectively portrayed. Revoyr strikes gold with this unexpected, fast-moving tale of high-altitude danger."
--Janet Fitch, author of Paint It Black

"Four urbanites from Los Angeles embark on an uncharted trail, invoking shadows of Deliverance in this fast-paced story which celebrates the mountain world of rock, sky, and woods. Nina Revoyr's wilderness thriller leaves readers as breathless as the hikers."
--Ron Carlson, author of The Signal

"Nobody knows Los Angeles like Nina Revoyr! Sharp-witted and big-hearted, Lost Canyon shows us what happens when the melting pot boils over. If you're brave enough to handle the truth about American race relations, this is the book for you."
--Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow

Praise for Wingshooters:

"A searing, anguished novel....The narration and pace are expertly calibrated."
--Los Angeles Times

"Hauntingly provocative...an excellent choice for book discussion groups."
--Library Journal

Four people on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada find more adventure than they ever imagined. Each of them is drawn to the mountains for reasons as diverse as their own lives. Gwen Foster, a counselor for at-risk youth, is struggling with burnout from the demands of her job. Real estate agent Oscar Barajas is adjusting to the fall of the housing market and being a single parent. Todd Harris, an attorney, is stuck in a lucrative but unfulfilling career--and in a failing marriage. They are all brought together by their trainer, Tracy Cole, a former athlete with a taste for risky pursuits.

When the hikers start up a pristine mountain trail that hasn't been traveled in years, all they have to guide them is a hand-drawn map of a remote, mysterious place called Lost Canyon. At first, the route past high alpine lakes and under towering, snowcapped peaks offers all the freedom and exhilaration they'd hoped for. But when they stumble onto someone who doesn't want to be found, the group finds itself faced with a series of dangerous conflicts, moral dilemmas, confrontations with nature, and an all-out struggle for survival.

Moving effortlessly between city and wilderness, Lost Canyon explores the ways that race, class, and culture shape experience and perception. It examines the choices good people must face in desperate situations. Set in the grand, wild landscape of the California mountains, Lost Canyon is a story of brewing social tensions and breathtaking adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:33 -0400)

Four hikers from Los Angeles journey to the Sierra Neveda and discover an untraversed trail which leads them into unexpected territory.

(summary from another edition)

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