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The Devil's Road to Kathmandu [Kindle Edition]

Tom Vater
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.92
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Book Description

‘The Devil’s Road To Kathmandu’ by Tom Vater is a tense, fast paced and kaleidoscopic pulp thriller, following the lives of two generations of drifters who become embroiled in a saga of sex, drugs and murder on the road between London and the Indian subcontinent.

In 1976, four friends, Dan, Fred, Tim and Thierry, drive a bus along the hippie trail from London to Kathmandu. En Route in Pakistan, a drug deal goes badly wrong, yet the boys escape with their lives and the narcotics. Thousands of kilometers, numerous acid trips, accidents, nightclubs and a pair of beautiful Siamese twins later, as they finally reach the counter-culture capital of the world, Kathmandu, Fred disappears with the drug money.

A quarter century later, after receiving mysterious emails inviting them to pick up their share of the money, Dan, Tim and Thierry are back in Kathmandu. The Nepalese capital is not the blissful mountain backwater they remember. Soon a trail of kidnapping and murder leads across the Roof of the World. With the help of Dan’s backpacking son, a tattooed lady and a Buddhist angel, the ageing hippies try to solve a 25-year old mystery that leads them amongst Himalayan peaks for a dramatic showdown with their past.

Praise for Tom Vater's The Devil's Road to Kathmandu

The Bangkok Post:
The Devil's Road to Kathmandu is a better backpacker's book than The Beach.

The Nepali Times:
The Devil’s Road, a novel by Tom Vater, is a great read. It’s the story of three 1970s hippies driving a rickety bus overland from Europe through Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India to Kathmandu. Long on naiveté, short on funds, they get involved with a couple of young women, a mysterious Frenchman, a set of Siamese twins who work as cabaret singers, some holy men, and drugs. Big time drugs. The deal they strike in Pakistan, they think, is their opportunity to pay for the entire trip. But get in trouble when it all goes terribly wrong in Kathmandu and the money disappears.
Twenty-five years later the hippies return to Nepal, back on the trail of the lost drug money. One is travelling with his son. I won’t tell you what happens next, nor the story’s climax, only that it’s a riveting read all the way from Hanuman Dhoka to Khumbu.

Lifestyle +Travel:
Three friends, two cities, one bus and a seemingly endless supply of narcotics: a typical GAP year? Maybe not. It’s 1976, and the lads’ road to Kathmandu – through pre-revolution Iran and feudal Pakistan – is paved with self-destructive yet philosophical tendencies; the likes of which have, in the context of today’s North Face-backpacker hegemony, gone the way of the Dodo. Vater sets scenes on a razor edge, catastrophe, oblivion and unbridled passion waiting for these volatile characters to lose their balance - a common fate when you’re stoned out of your tree. Multiple narratives and parallel plots give this book breadth and depth – quite a mind trip, actually, and a rather addictive read.

Untamed Travel:
A harrowing, darkly humorous story of three hippie friends who slum their way from London to Kathamandu in 1976 where they screw up a drug deal, setting in motion consequences that force them to return twenty-five years later. In this first novel, itinerant feature journalist Tom Vater brings to the realm of fiction his trademark vision of a world where deserving has little to do with what you get. A gripping and clever tale of sex, crime, love, narcotics and greed, though not necessarily in that order.

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Product Description

About the Author

Tom Vater has written non-fiction and fiction books, travel guides, documentary screenplays, and countless feature articles investigating cultural and political trends and oddities in Asia. His stories have appeared in publications such as The Asia Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Times, Marie Claire, Penthouse and The Daily Telegraph. He co-wrote The Most Secret Place on Earth, a feature documentary on the CIA’s secret war in Laos, which has been broadcast in 25 countries. His bestselling book Sacred Skin (, the first English language title on Thailand’s sacred tattoos, has received more than 30 reviews. Tom’s work has led him across the Himalayas, given him the opportunity to dive with hundreds of sharks in the Philippines, and to witness the Maha Khumb Mela, the largest gathering of people in the world. On assignments, he has joined sea gypsies and nomads, pilgrims, sex workers, serial killers, rebels and soldiers, politicians and secret agents, artists, pirates, hippies, gangsters, police men and prophets. Some of them have become close friends.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1724 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Crime Wave Press (22 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008E71INO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #288,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tom Vater is a writer working in South and South East Asia. He writes both in English and German. His articles have been published around the world. He is the author of several books and has co-written a number of documentary screenplays for European television. His books on South Asian themes include two novels, several non-fiction titles, travel guides and photo books, including the acclaimed Sacred Skin. TIME Magazine described his recent work as 'exuberant writing'.

Tom first visited Asia in 1993. His first destination, India, proved to be a life-changing experience. At the time, Tom was documenting the music of India's indigenous minorities for the British Library's International Music Collection. This project continues and has resulted in the collection of hundreds of hours of musical traditions, many of which are slowly fading away in the face of globalization. Because of the unique contact Tom had with many indigenous communities, he began to write about minorities in South Asia.
His first publication (barring a virtually forgotten past as editor of student magazines and music critic for a German daily) was a full page spread on Nepali folk music in Nepal's biggest English language paper in 1997. Since then, he has never looked back.

Tom's work has appeared in a wide variety of publications - from well-known dailies to specialist magazines - including The Asia Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Marie Claire and Penthouse.

Tom often works with Thai photographer Aroon Thaewchatturat, whose images have appeared in GEO, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. For a look at Aroon's images, visit her website

Tom is the co-founder of Crime Wave Press (, a Hong Kong based fiction imprint that endeavors to publish the best new crime novels from Asia and about Asia to readers around the globe.

Much of the year, Tom is on the road, researching stories, fulfilling assignments. His travels have led him (on foot) across the Himalayas, given him the opportunity to dive with hundreds of sharks in the Philippines and left him stranded in dozens of train stations, airports and bus terminals around South Asia, Europe and the US. On his journeys, he has joined sea gypsies and nomads, pilgrims and soldiers, secret agents, pirates, hippies, police men and prophets. Everyone put up with him longer than he deserved.

You can also follow Tom on his Facebook page, his Goodreads page or his crime fiction blog as well as on his flickr page.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freak Scene 19 Feb. 2013
I bought this title because I traveled along the hippie trail myself in 1974. I think. Anyhow, The Devil's Road is a pretty good re-imagination of the days when some of us where really free. The music, the sex, the drugs, the miles on the road in unsavory vehicles - it's all there. Tom Vater obviously knows the era and the geography. At the heart of this book lies a story about friendship and how in those hazy days of fast deals and sloppy border crossings, these could fall apart quickly, with tragic consequences. A great thriller from a time long gone, nicely put into focus by the latter scenes playing out in more recent, and more conservative times. Read The Devil's Road to Kathmandu and freak out! One more time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's Road to Kathmandu 9 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was saving this title for holiday reading but picked it up late one night and pretty much read it straight through. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, it is a page turner (or clicker) and has good pace.
It cleverly juxtaposes an overland trip to the 'East' in the mid 70's with a trip in 2000. The story line is threaded nicely between both eras with sympathetic and believable characters.
You don't need to have been there to enjoy this but if you were, it will take you right back.
A good read and I'll probably re-read it at some point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Devil's Road to Kthmandu 20 Feb. 2013
By Padem
Four friends, one bus, CAN and The Stones on the speakers, joints lighting up like there's no tomorrow. It must be the 1970s!!! The Devil's Road to Kathmandu is a road movie in book form which follows a bunch of drug addled desperados from London to Kathmandu along the infamous hippie trail through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Of course things go wrong and only find a somewhat corny if dramatic conclusion 25 years later in Nepal. The writing is lean and assured and the cultural details are countless and read like an immersion course into Asia's byways. A gem of a book which takes us into a world that is long lost to revolutions, geopolitics and terrorism. Hit the road, Jack!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 1 Oct. 2014
By Karen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Strong characters that pull you in to their journey from the first page. Descriptions of far flung destinations that are so textured you can smell the markets, cities and mountains. A journey that spans two generations, and the cost of love, greed and freedom. Loved it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's road to darkness 30 Jun. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I just finished reading The Devil's Road to Kathmandu, pretty much in two sittings. Having traveled in Asia, I enjoyed this fast read about a group of friends who smuggle drugs, have sex and indulge in alternative lifestyle choices along the legendary 70s hippie trail in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal. These guys remind of the Fabulous Freak Brothers, their actions are gloriously irresponsible and still they manage to have fun in the face of total catastrophe. The story flicks back and forth between hippie nostalgia and the Lonely Planet world of the more recent past and the cast of shady characters and great locations on the way kept my attention - Siamese twins in Iran, dodgy, blood feud obsessed drug barons in Pakistan, a tattooed girl and a kind of female Dalai Lama in Nepal and even a suave Frenchman who appears to look a bit like Richard Gere. There are also some serious moments that touch on the nature of travel and globalization, but on the whole this is a high speed adventure and crime caper gone wrong that stretches around half the globe and left me wanting to book a plane ticket to somewhere crazy and exotic. Bring it on, dudes!
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