By Richard Grant
No-one travels like the renowned writer-adventurer Richard Grant and, really, no-one should. Having narrowly escaped death at the hands of Mexican drug barons in Bandit Roads, he now plunges with his trademark recklessness and curiosity into Africa. Setting out to make the first descent of a previously unexplored river in Tanzania, he gets waylaid by thieves, whores and a degenerate former golf pro in Zanzibar, then crosses the Indian Ocean in a cargo dhow before the real adventure begins on the Malagarasi river. Travelling by raft, dodging bullets, hippos, lions and crocodiles, hacking through swamps and succumbing to fevers, Grant's gripping, illuminating and often hilarious book will thrill his devoted readers and bring him to an even broader audience.
A Corkscrew Is Most Useful
By Nicholas Murray
In the early 19th century there was a huge surge forward in travel of all kinds. Queen Victoria's accession in 1837 came barely a year after John Murray's first guidebook was published. Then in 1838 Bradshaw's famous portable railway timetable appeared. In 1841 Thomas Cook, the world's first travel agent, organised its first tour (from London to Leicester and back by train). The age of mass tourism had arrived. Side by side with it another phenomenom began to develop: exploration to wilder shores and uncharted lands. This is the focus of Nicholas Murray's fascinating book which draws upon the extraordinary stories of Livingstone's journey across Africa; Burton and Speke reaching Lake Tanganyika; John Stuart crossing Australia from south to north; Livingstone reaching the Zambezi; Richard Burton's travels across Arabia, and countless others' extraordinary and brave expeditions.
By Douglas Kennedy
Money as a weapon. Money as revenge. Money as a substitute for sex and love. Money as status ... This intriguing and extraordinarily well-written book is cheering for those of us who aren't rich, and will go happily to our graves without ever pulling down £300,000 per annum' Simon Hoggart, LITERARY REVIEW'How we chase Mammon defines us. Because, like it or not, we are what we earn,' CHASING MAMMON is the first travel book ever written about the uses of money and the attitudes of the wheelers and dealers in the international marketplace. Douglas Kennedy spent a year loitering with intent in six very disparate financial realms, including the Casablanca bourse (where stocks and bonds are listed on a blackboard), the squeaky-clean Singapore money markets, the Sydney futures market and the first Hungarian stock exchange to open since 1948. From the 'New Age' City folk in London, unsure whether greed really is good for you, to the tireless toilers of Wall Street, Knnedy's encounters with money-makers around the globe make for an exhilarating and quirkily original journey through the modern cash nexus.
Chile: Travels In A Thin Country
By Sara Wheeler
Squeezed in between a vast ocean and the longest mountain range on earth, Chile is 2,600 miles long and never more than 110 miles wide - not a country which lends itself to maps, as Sara Wheeler found out when she travelled alone with two carpetbags from the top to the bottom, form the driest desert in the world to the sepulchral wastes of Antarctica.This is Sara Wheeler's account of a six-month odyssey which included Christmas Day at 13,000 feet with a llama sandwich, a sex hotel in Santiago and a trip round Cape Horn delivering a coffin. Eloquent, astute and amusing, CHILE: TRAVELS IN A THIN COUNTRY confirms Sara Wheeler's place in the front rank of today's travel writers.
Cuba: The Land Of Miracles
By Stephen Smith
For a growing number of British holidaymakers, Cuba is a Caribbean paradise, but it is also a land of cutbacks and economic instability. Stephen Smith comes to live on the island, and his search for the real Cuba inevitably becomes a search for Fidel Castro too. Before meeting his quarry, Smith travels extensively through the 'land of miracles' in an old American automobile. His highly-personalised account features a bloody initiation into a voodoo-like cult, dining on giant rat, and checking into the Love Hotel. And he goes on manoeuvres in the Everglades with armed, but not especially competent, Cuban exiles dreaming of a second Bay of Pigs. With disarming wit and considerable insight, Stephen Smith investigates a country where communism and voodoo coexist, and where the influence of its leader of forty years continues to throw a long shadow.
By Justin Hill
Asmara is the capital of Eritrea - a surreally Italian city at the centre of an ex-Italian colony that has been at war with its neighbour Ethiopia (who claim sovereignty over Eritrea) for over ten years. Amidst broken palaces (built by the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie), nomadic desert encampments and war-torn towns, Hill found a god-fearing people remarkably resistant to everything fate has thrown at them. This book is a tribute to their resilience and will stand beside Philip Gouravitch's Rwandan book, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT TOMORROW YOU WILL BE KILLED WITH YOUR FAMILIES, as a classic account of contemporary Africa.
By Tim Moore
They stuck their coaches on ride-on, ride off ferries, whisked through France and Italy moaning about garlic and rudeness, then bored the neighbours to death by having them all round to look at their holiday watercolours'Many people associate the Grand Tour with the baggy shirted Byrons of its 19th century heyday, but someone had to do it first and Thomas Coryate, author of arguably the first piece of pure travel writing, CRUDITIES, was that man. Tim Moore travels through 45 cities in the steps of a larger-than-life Jacobean hero incidentally responsible for introducing forks to England and thus ending forever the days of the finger-lickin'-good drumstick hurlers of courts gone by. Coryate's early 17th century bawdy anecdotes include being pelted with eggs, pursued by a knife wielding man in a turban and, finally, being vomited on copiously by a topless woman with a beer barrel on her head:- For once, Tim Moore has no trouble keeping up the modern-day side. And his authentic method of travel to replicate these adventures? A clapped-out pink Rolls Royce, of course.
By Stephen Smith
One of the most violent countries on earth, where the cause of death is regularly 'massacre', drink drivers play chicken and kidnap stories pass for dinner party conversation; nine times more dangerous than the United States, Columbia is no place for the nervous traveller. So it is much against his better judgement that, in the summer of 1998, coinciding with a World Cup and a general election, journalist Stephen Smith finds himself boarding the Cocaine Train out of Cali, home of Columbia's infamous drugs cartel.Its passengers prey to theives, extortionists and a dozen different varieties of paramilitary, the Cocaine Train is one of the last remnants of a once great railway system, and Smith is riding in it in search of a grandfather he barely knew: Fred Leslie Frost, pioneering railwayman, upright citizen and diplomat, with a Columbian mistress and an illegitimate son. As remote from his suburban British origins as it is possible to imagine.