Reviews of The White Rock
Time and again he brings the Incas to life as real people.
Matthew Parris, ‘A Good Read’, Radio 4
Probably the most enjoyable and intelligent travel book to be written on South America in the last 20 years
Michael Jacobs, author of Andes
A record of one man’s obsession with the Incas over a period of 20 years: an obsession that led him to search out (and in one case discover) Inca ruins in the most inaccessible places, far beyond the reach of tourists.
Anthony Daniels, Sunday Telegraph
It is the mixture of historian, traveller and film-maker that makes The White Rock come alive as few other books about South America have done.
Ulick O’Connor, Sunday Independent
So entertaining and appealing is Thomson’s story of his exploration of the Inca empire that readers will wish they could take off and follow in his footsteps….. Thomson’s wit, eye for detail and reverence for humanity set him apart from the average travel-adventure writer – he is as good a companion as a traveller could hope for.
The White Rock is a gem of a book, an intelligent, balanced and indeed original look at the empire of the Incas, told from what we know of them historically and what we can see in their strange and magnificent ruins in the towering, jungle-clad mountains of Peru that tumble down into the Amazon basin.
L A Times
A riveting account of South American exploration and Peruvian culture, full of unforgettable stories and amazing facts.
One of the strongest debuts I have read for a while.
Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times
Thomson’s account of his travels through the Inca heartlands weaves geographical, spiritual, personal and historical strands to an effect as rich and vivid as a Peruvian shawl.
Juliet Clough, Daily Telegraph
Thomson has a great ability to find both local colour and a human heart in characters who, to other eyes, might be merely ridiculous or dull… I’ll look forward to all his future stories if they’re even half as well told, as vivid and funny and human, as this one.
Alan Peter Ryan, Washington Post
In The White Rock, the whole continent becomes a plot with suspense and a cast of outrageous characters…This is Bruce Chatwin with cojones. More than that, it is a micro-allegory of the saga of fantasy, bravado, conquest, and the frustration that is the collective narrative of the Inca hunters.
Andy Martin, The Independent
It is Thomson’s generosity of spirit which stands out and makes this a great book. He presents a faithful description of Inca history and of life in modern-day Peru, while presenting fascinating pen portraits of those figures involved in the decline of the Incas and in the revival of interest in their lost world. It is a work that is both accessible and academically rigorous.
Isabel Cockayne, Eastern Daily Press
Engrossing…. the sort of book that fires the armchair traveller with a desire to follow in its author’s footsteps, not just because it is passionate about its subject and immensely well informed about the Inca empire (and its destruction by the Spanish) but also because it tells of some quite heroic exploration by Thomson himself.
Geoffrey Moorhouse New York Times Book Review. A New York Times Notable Book