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The Devil's Road to Kathmandu by [Vater, Tom]
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The Devil's Road to Kathmandu Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

  • File Size: 1724 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Crime Wave Press (June 22, 2012)
  • Publication Date: June 22, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008E71INO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #915,717 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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...
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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.
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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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
My first experience of Kathmandu dates back to the days when the flawed heroes of The Devil's Road rolled into town in their beaten up van - and the author has captured the period beautifully. The cheap hostels and lakeside hangouts (in Pokhara) were awash with characters just like those in this, very atmospheric piece of fiction. Back then, there were two major attractions to budget travellers coming to Nepal. Mountains and drugs. And for many of the European travellers I saw, the mountains might as well not have existed, so obsessed were they with the cheaply (or even freely) available ganja. I recall one Italian traveller wandering into a tourist restaurant, the sleeves of his vest filled with marijuana plants that surrounded his head like an American Indian headdress. He was the happiest man in Nepal - and the least concerned about the laws of that, or any other, land.

Tom Vater captures this illusory sense of invincibility, of freedom from the law, that characterised young travellers in that region in those days. And his is a tale of how that sense of invincibility goes horribly wrong. Well worth reading - whether or not you were there in those heady, smoke-filled days.
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By Ruiner on May 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A decent read all in all. Vater's experience writing travel guides is obvious in the beautiful descriptions of the locations in this book. The dual story between 1976 and 2000 is well done as well. Some of the plot is a bit contrived and the ending predictable, but still worth checking out. Not bad.
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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.
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