'Thomson's story is an epic one - in an increasingly homogenous world, he has found, and describes to perfection, a mythical land.' PUBLISHING NEWS (10.3.06) 'This masterly book represents the compression of 25 years of Thomson's travels and explorations in Peru, through five millennia of history...Thomson captures the enormous excitement currently felt in Peru. He writes enthrallingly about the host of recent major archaeological discoveries and the secrets they have revealed...The result is a fascinating, intelligently told tale, full of intriguing revelations, that penetrates deeper into the Andean past than previously attempted.' TRAVELLER MAGAZINE (June 2006) 'Thomson impressively interweaves 25 years of personal exploration and discovery with the rise and fall of each of the pre-Inca civilisations, searching out and studying their enduring monuments to reveal their beliefs, ways of living and effect on the cultures that followed...an engrossing, impassioned account whereby the entire country becomes a plot full of high drama and extraordinary characters...travel writing in the finest tradition.' -- Alex Stewart WANDERLUST (August/September) 'History, archaeological puzzle-solving, ethnography and traveller's tales are combined in this account of Hugh Thomson's extensive travels through the principal sites of Ancient Peru, leading the reader on a dizzying tour through five turbulent millennia. The cumulative effect is enthralling.' -- Sara Wheeler TIMES (22.7.06) 'From lake-island trek to frantic festival, from thumbnail sketches of scholars, to gossip and insights into...archaeologists and astronomers, Thomson guides us through his pleasures.' -- Tom Adair SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY (23.7.06) 'Cochineal Red...artfully blends technical archaeological knowledge with a readable and exciting account of his own Peruvian odyssey, from the search for lost ruins to life in modern Peru and even Lima's politics...[Thomson exercises] a deft touch and an evocative style.' -- Gary Ziegler GEOGRAPHICAL (1.8.06) 'First and most importantly, Hugh Thomson is a good thing. It takes a rare combination of scholarly focus and Boy's Own derring-do to write books about adventuring in Peru (this is his third) which consistently rise above the level of backpackers' companions, and convey not only Thomson's great knowledge of the ancient civilisations of the Andes, but also the thrill of the chase for such knowledge.' -- Matthew Parris THE SPECTATOR (5.8.06) 'Thomson, who has written about ancient Peru before, in The White Rock, steps through this window of innocence, assembling a band of adventurers and oddballs to explore the signature sites of succeeding civilisations from the Caral (3000BC) to the Inca of the 15th century...Thomson's evocation and speculation on the drug-taking ceremonies, the disorientating architecture and the eroticised rituals of human sacrifice and thrilling and disturbing.' -- Nigel Richardson TELEGRAPH (26.8.06) 'What makes Cochineal Red such a worthwhile book is that it is written by someone who is both an explorer and a scholar. We may begin with Thomson hacking through jungle paths, but he has read widely and talked to all the specialists. The result is an enjoyable, erudite and fascinating insight into cultures that, as they become temporally more distant, grow in importance in shaping our understanding of civilisation.' -- Toby Green INDEPENDENT (15.9.06) 'Communicates all the excitement of participating in the discovery of a hidden world.' -- J.H.Elliott author of Empires of the Atlantic World. 'fascinating story, not only of following up leads left by Bingham at Llactapata, but of exploring other sites and wonders in Peru.' -- John Ure TLS (15.12.06) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Hugh Thomson's previous books include The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland and Nanda Devi, a journey to a usually inaccessible part of the Himalayas. He has led many research expeditions to Peru. He is also a film-maker and has won many awards for his documentaries, which include Indian Journeys with William Dalrymple, and Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History. He lives in Oxfordshire.
More details can be seen at www.thewhiterock.co.uk