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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece
An even better work than 'Bad Wisdom'. Drummond and Manning's contrasting writing styles compliment each other perfectly, with the former's sulky, spare, thoughtful and engaging and acting as a necessary ballast to Manning's powerful, electric and depraved fantasies.
Both are brilliant for very different reasons. As with Bad Wisdom, Manning's constant desire to shock...
Published on 28 Oct 2005 by W Storr

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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the literary superstars they think they are
This book is much weaker than the first volume in this 'real-life adventure series', "Bad Wisdom". This book lacks the sense of fun in the first, and yet it also lacks in terms of philosophical impact.
It also lacks editorial control- Drummond seems incapable of writing anything except dates, times and dialogue, and Manning seems only capable of writing about twisted...
Published on 19 Oct 2005 by Mr. Stuart Bruce


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece, 28 Oct 2005
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This review is from: Wild Highway (Paperback)
An even better work than 'Bad Wisdom'. Drummond and Manning's contrasting writing styles compliment each other perfectly, with the former's sulky, spare, thoughtful and engaging and acting as a necessary ballast to Manning's powerful, electric and depraved fantasies.
Both are brilliant for very different reasons. As with Bad Wisdom, Manning's constant desire to shock does get a touch tedious and predictable towards the end, whilst Drummond suffers from a lack of confidence (he confesses that he thinks his account of their trip to Europe probably needed editing down - but I thought it was amongst his best stuff). But those are quibbles. This is another astonishing book.
Here's to part three...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Save Literally Our Soles, 2 Sep 2005
This review is from: Wild Highway (Paperback)
Another work of genius from Drummond & Manning. Keenly awaited follow up to "Bad Wisdom", the self declared Zen Masters retread the journey from Conrad's Heart of Darkness in an attempt to reclaim their misplaced souls.
As with the previous book, the narrative alternates between Bill's introspective self loathing & Z's more lavish (disturbingly pornographic) passages. In fact there seems to be a lot less of Bill, and a hell of a lot more Z.
If constant references to "bumming" aren't your thing, then it may be best to avoid. If on the other hand, you found the Marquis de Sade a little tame, then this should be your next purchase.
Constantly amusing, extremely well written & very eloquent. I'd hesitate to say educational, but why not. A true journey to the heart of all darkness.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, obviously, and well worth the wait, 28 Aug 2005
By 
Mr. J. P. Young (Newcastle upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild Highway (Paperback)
This long, long, LONG-awaited follow-up to the justifiably legendary (at least 'round my way it is) "Bad Wisdom" is finally with us, twice the size of its predecessor and groaning with subversive delights. I would never use the word 'subversive' lightly, but Messers Drummond and Manning live and breathe it.
This time around they're off to Africa, former Zaire to be precise, on an insanely dangerous mission to track down the notorious President Mobutu on the grounds that he is the closest Earthly equivalent to Satan himself and can perhaps be wheedled with or conned into giving Bill and Z their souls back - they apparantly sold theirs way back in their KLF/Zodiac Mindwarp days. Bill intends to use a Punch and Judy show for this purpose. Don't ask.
One might think that with the very real horrors of everyday life in Africa, yet another volume full of Z's psychosexual phantasies would be not only tiresome but irrelevant, made a nonsense of by the brutal surroundings. Not a bit of it. Scarcely believably, Manning has outdone even himself here, the hallucinatory horrorshow and sub-De Sade misogyny making the collected lives and times of Patrick Bateman, Klaus Kinski and "Bad Wisdom"'s more outrageous excesses seem almost tame. Yes, really. Even when he calms down a little, he remains possessed of a wonderfully acrid turn of phrase, not to mention an almost schizophrenic ability to connect unrelated idioms. Bits alluding to "Naked Lunch" and "Moby Dick" slide in and out of his narratives. Aleister Crowley, Baudelaire and the revolting Arab slave trader Tippu Tipp make cameo appearences. His account of a bad trip on ibogaine will raise the hairs on the back of your neck - Daniel Pinchbeck's account in "Breaking Open The Head" made the drug seem comparitively benign. The likes of Steven Wells and Stewart Home couldn't hold the minutest candle to the deranged genius of Manning.
If Manning is deranged, then Drummond is downright disturbed. As always he has a pathological inability to explain why he does what he does - he skirts round the edges but has no real reason other than that he feels it is right. (Even Manning wouldn't burn a million quid, for instance...). Needless to say, the African trip is his idea. Losing every squabble with the gobby Manning, he instead worries about his health (unsurprising in the circumstances) and broods with unfathomable seriousness on Presbyterianism, demonology, Punch and Judy, racism, etc.
This is, I hardly need say, a troubling book. Racism and homophobia are universally smeared throughout its pages, although Manning seems titillated as much as repulsed by it and Drummond at least attempts to make excuses. Crap excuses, naturally. At least they're being honest. "The Wild Highway" is valuable precisely because it is a genuine ride into the darkest corners of the psychic landscape, places where all kinds of terrible things dwell. You know, the kind of things we all think, but don't have the bottle to say, or even the grace to admit to ourselves.
I predict the third and final volume in this projected trilogy may never appear - their final quest is to go to the moon. You heard me.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the literary superstars they think they are, 19 Oct 2005
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Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild Highway (Paperback)
This book is much weaker than the first volume in this 'real-life adventure series', "Bad Wisdom". This book lacks the sense of fun in the first, and yet it also lacks in terms of philosophical impact.
It also lacks editorial control- Drummond seems incapable of writing anything except dates, times and dialogue, and Manning seems only capable of writing about twisted sex, which had novelty shock value on the first book, but is mostly worthless here. Drummond and Manning regularly question the quality and worth of each other's writing within the text, and far too often Drummond crosses that line into amateurism by writing about writer's block.
The adventure up the Congo that they actually took, which forms the basis of this book, would have been a goldmine for any decent travel writer and could have been a classic in the making- yet in the hands of Drummond and Manning you're left with reams of self-referential nothingness and a wish that somebody else was there to tell you insightfully what really happened.
Both writers seem convinced that because they once produced rock records, they have a fanbase of unquestionning product-buyers that will lap up every word. At times they seem determined to stretch that loyalty to the limit by producing 400 pages of awkward, uninspiring, worthless prose.
It's not without its funny moments but unless you decided that "Bad Wisdom" is a work of literary genius, don't bother.
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