Andes by Michael Jacobs - review by Miranda France

Miranda France

Humboldt’s Gifts



Granta Books 550pp £25

This is a hefty book – I hold it partly responsible for tendonitis in my left thumb. But that’s a small aggravation when set in the context of Michael Jacobs’s epic journey along the Andes – itself filled with aggravations and exhilaration – through seven countries, from the Caribbean to the Straits of Magellan.

Now in his late fifties, Jacobs is an Englishman who lives in Andalusia and has written several books on Spain and South America. He was born, however, in the Italian Alps, and early expeditions with his brother, pretending to conquer the Poles or the Himalayas, left him with

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