Return to Home Page

November 8, 2012

The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu – book review

 By Tom Vater – published by Crimewave Press, 2012

A bunch of hippies, a rattler of a bus and the adventure of a lifetime along freely open South Asian land borders in the mid 70s are the base ingredients of The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu”, Tom Vater’s first novel, originally released in 2006 and newly available now. Add and  blend in a scary amount of drug abuse, corrupted border officials and a drug smuggling deal gone bad in the Pakistani mountains of the Swat valley, and you can complete this lethal Molotov cocktail of a book. To my knowledge, one of the few pulp adventures set in the Hippy Trail’s background, if not the first.
The plot is precisely knit as a handmade, intricate Kashmiri carpet: the events unfold between a lysergic trippin’ past in 1976 and present day Kathmandu, where the surviving units of the wild bunch have reunited to piece together the last fragments of a puzzle scattered across much more than just time.

When a mysterious email lands in Dan’s inbox, a story which may have stayed buried under the Himalayan snows comes back to life, rippin’ and taking hostages like a terrorist attack. And it is rendezvous’ time, adding young Robbie, Dan’s son who finds himself in Kathmandu at the same time, looking for his own version of Asia. The plethora of gangsters, guns, women and holy men coming in the middle will just help to make it a dangerous one.

Tom Vater, travel writer and expert of the region, mixes a fondness for Asian travel with a deep appreciation for noir and crime fiction, painting a vivid portrait of a Thamel-haunted Kathmandu and its dwellers. If you ever visited the Nepali capital, you may easily get lost in the abounding topographic details scattered all over the novel.   Its characters get slowly uncovered, pieced together with 25 years old tape, showing that for some not much has changed between now and then. Inevitably, the gathering becomes housekeeping time for restless souls and bank accounts, respectively.

The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu” successfully depicts an odd world of lawless Western abuse against the magical backdrop of Asia’s southern roads; at the end, it is difficult to discern who plays worst between strung-out travelers and strange locals. One thing is certain, tough: it is a ride you won’t likely put down until this book is finished. A noteworthy addition to your travel literature.

Posted by | Comments (1) 
Category: Asia, Backpacking, Travel Writing


One Response to “The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu – book review”

  1. The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu reviewed on Vagablogging | Tom Vater Says:

    [...] Read the low down here. [...]

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Roger: My family and I recently returned from a three week trip to Europe (Germany,...

Ric Moore: Coming home after 4 months, I was in a bit of a funk. ‘Nothing’...

Peter Korchnak @ Where Is Your Toothbrush?: Agreed with Lynne, well said. The...

M.Jagger: Rod, Blimey….It was a blast partying with you at the local...

Ava Collopy: I’m currently working on a new book and website project to represent...

Caroline Macomber: I’m beginning to feel that it doesn’t end. But that I...

Stephen: Does it end, though? I’ve gone through several cycles of this over the...

Margie: I will never be a tour guide, but the prospective you have shown here will help...

Lynne Nieman: Well said! Although not a long term traveler like you, I have taken a few...

Dorje: Hi all. I was born in Kathmandu in ’71, my father ran the Rose Mushroom...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Easter Island with miles
Vagabonding Case Study: Mariellen Ward
Vagabonding book club: Chapter 11: Coming home
Maximilian I on the journey of life
Enlightening Self-inflicted Ruin Travel
Thank you, Victoria Falls.
Lost in the crowd when traveling?
Can words hurt as much as sticks and stones?
Vagabonding Field Report: The Penguins of Phillip Island
Long term travel with a family: You have to really want to do this


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts