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The Devil's Road to Kathmandu
 
 

The Devil's Road to Kathmandu [Kindle Edition]

Tom Vater
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product 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.

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 (www.sacredskinthailand.com), 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: 1704 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 9881655676
  • Publisher: Crime Wave Press (22 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008E71INO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,263 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 www.aroonthaew.com.

Tom is the co-founder of Crime Wave Press (www.crimewavepress.com), 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 http://thedevilsroad.com as well as on his flickr page.

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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
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's road to darkness 30 Jun 2012
By le_prf
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great ride 4 April 2013
By Jame DiBiasio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Vater's got the gift. His portrayals of Pakistan and Nepal, from the past and from today, are spot-on and draw the reader in. With an economical few strokes of the pen, he delivers credible characters that hurdle along a great story. I downloaded the book and spent the next day ignoring Real Life. Entertainment delivered very well, and extra candy for people with an affinity for the romance of the road, for the dreams evoked by the very name in the title...Kathmandu...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil Travels in a Bedford 23 Sep 2013
By Jaechegaray - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
There is no question as to how writer Tom Vater came up with the title to his novel, The Devil's Road to Kathmandu--the sheer mix of danger, drugs, and salacious exploits transport the reader straight to the gritty underbelly of the Hippie Trail to follow four friends on the road to chaos. Venturing through both space and time, this story pursues a mystery from a drug deal gone horribly wrong in 1976, to the consequences that surface more than twenty years later as the men retrace their steps to Kathmandu.

Dan, Thierry, Fred, and Tim endeavor to leave their Western ways behind their beaten up Bedford bus and get lost in the rock n' roll lifestyle of Asia, if they only knew just how lost they would get. When a supposedly simple drug deal in the Swat Valley erupts in mayhem, the men escape the bloody feud with their lives and the drugs, and violence imprinted on their minds. Unable to escape their provocative world, various mishaps, drug trips, and women pave their way to Kathmandu, only to then have Fred disappear with the drug money.

25 years later, Dan's son, Robbie, is on his own mission of self-discovery in Kathmandu when his father and the other two remaining men are lured back there by a mysterious e-mail and the promise of seeing their drug money once more. The men, discovering that much has changed in their absence, soon find themselves wrapped up in a tangled web of deceit, corruption, and violence as the story spirals towards one final showdown with the ghosts of their past. With the narrative skillfully weaving between the past and present, the pieces of the puzzle slowly come together and shed light on a mystery that spans over a quarter of a century.

For anyone who has ever dreamed of a dark adventure, or gotten lost in one of his/her own, this pulp thriller will quickly captivate your inner daredevil. Vater successfully manipulates his personal knowledge of a fast-paced life in Asia and masters the rhythm of the road, as his colorful descriptions and drug-induced inner monologues create a world both palpable and intoxicating:

"His life was a dream. There was no need to sleep to escape anything. He would turn his neurotransmitters into free-range activists. He'd stop to dream and start to live. He'd transform himself into a shining entity of love and principle, of curious undertaking and generous self-destruction.

He couldn't remember the moon over London. The city absorbed the heavenly bodies into its whirl of coloured economic frenzy. Now, keeping an eye on the road, another on the yellow sickle, bobbing up and down with every dip in the land, he was being sucked into a vortex, mysterious and exciting. He'd broken free."

--The Devil's Road to Kathmandu

So for those seeking a wild ride through the hellish roads of Southern Asia, cozy on up in the backseat of this Bedford bus...and hold on tight.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Beach 18 Feb 2013
By Janet Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Four guys in a van, in search of kicks on the road--a time-honored theme. But these four guys are in Pakistan, headed for Kathmandu in 1976,and their entrepreneurial instincts have kicked in hard. Their plan is to buy Afghani opium from the Pathan tribesmen in the Swat Valley, sell it in India, and make a tidy profit to bankroll their travels. But the deal collides with a feud that requires the stern measures of tribal law and things go bloodily awry.

In the beginning of the next century, the son of one of the four travelers is in Kathmandu, searching for his own version of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. An email from his father throws his vacation off-course--money was made in the ill-fated journey of 1976 and it's finally time for the four guys to collect it. But all four have to sign the withdrawal slip, so it's reunion time in Kathmandu, even though one of the four is dead.

Time twists like a pretzel to great effect in this novel, slowly revealing details from the past to illuminate the present, and the plot holds more curves than a mountain trail in Nepal. Glamorous conjoined twins, a straight-talking woman from Tibet, and a busload of stoned-out freaks who would challenge the leadership skills of Ken Kesey--as well as the Getaway Girl, whose body is a walking art gallery of ink art--the characters in this book take it far above the usual backpacker travel thriller.

So do the descriptions, which are precise, concise, and absolutely stunning. This is a dangerous novel--author Tom Vater knows his territory and he makes his readers want to know it too. When you buy this book, factor in the cost of a trip to Nepal, because you're going to want to go there.

But above all, this book is a smart and compelling suspense novel, leaving The Beach far behind, wheezing and choking in bus exhaust fumes. The Devil's Road to Kathmandu has all of the hallmarks of a new travel classic for this new century--read it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Action, Adventure on the Hippie Trail 15 Mar 2014
By Gary Wayne Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tom Vater's The Devil's Road to Katmandu is a carefully crafted work, surprisingly so, as a matter of fact. In a genre (travel, adventure)that requires one to be well-experienced in the travel/adventure department but not necessarily well-skilled in the writing department, Vater's work stands head and shoulders above the rest. There are some finely-tuned lines in this book--some really inspired writing, and Vater is careful not to go over-the-top into a froth or sentimentality. The Devil's Road is at times gritty and at times ethereal, almost tranquil. But it's the plot and the action that keeps the reader turning pages,as Dan and his band of misfits and hippies undertake the hippie trail on the promise of a large drug payout. The plot is neatly interwoven in two different strands, twenty years apart. It's a nifty trick and one that can be hard to do. But Vater's footing is secure and the plot carries the reader nicely through to the end. It's a book that would surprise many people who might otherwise overlook it. I recommend it to anyone who loves travel and adventure, but also to anyone who loves the written word.
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Devil's Road to Kathmandu 9 Dec 2013
By Bruce Bart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The journey taken throughout "THE DEVIL'S ROAD TO KATHMANDU" was so gripping and fun that it has inspired us to go to India; Nepal; and Bhutan this Feb and part of March.

Cheers to Tom Vater for his fabulous trip.

Thank you.

Bruce & Jen
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