Author(s): Richard Grant
There are many ways to die in the Sierra Madre, a notorious nine-hundred-mile mountain range in northern Mexico where AK-47s are fetish objects, the law is almost non-existent and power lies in the hands of brutal drug mafias. Thousands of tons of opium and marijuana are produced there every year. Richard Grant thought it would be a good idea to travel the length of the Sierra Madre and write a book about it. He was warned before he left that he would be killed. But driven by what he calls 'an unfortunate fascination' for this mysterious region, Grant sets off anyway. In a remarkable piece of investigative writing, he evokes a sinister, surreal landscape of lonely mesas, canyons sometimes deeper than the Grand Canyon, hostile villages and an outlaw culture where homicide is the most common cause of death and grandmothers sell cocaine. Finally his luck runs out and he finds himself fleeing for his life, pursued by men who would murder a stranger in their territory 'to please the trigger finger'.
'Erudite & street-smart... that rare thing: a travel writer who not only amuses & informs but also reappraises a well trodden landscape with brio & originality' MAIL ON SUNDAY '[Grant] brings to light a range of darkly romantic wanderers who strayed from the American mainstream while exemplifying the American Dream' OBSERVER '...the freshest travel book on the US in a long time & one of the best short entrees to its history & culture' TLS 'His yarn rips along to a staccato sound-track of gunfire and inventive obscenities from some of the most unrighteous examples of humanity alive' Peter Carty, INDEPENDENT 'A raw, colourful tour through the Sierra Madre ... he is a cracking travel writer, and his book brims with revealing conversations, escapades and history' Ralph Benson, FINANCIAL TIMES 'His story is incredible; an exhilarating travel yarn ... Read this brilliant book and be grateful that he survived to tell the tale' 'Book of the Month MAXIM 'A good old fashioned travel book...with snappy biographical essays and lively but controlled digressions' Sara Wheeler, GUARDIAN 'What Grant calls his 'unfortunate fascination' with the Sierra Madre is his readers' gain; the yarns and the adrenalin do not stop flowing throughout' Naomi West, HARPER'S BAZAAR 'Sizzling, white-knuckle read' Hephzibah Anderson, DAILY MAIL 'Highly recommended' Tom Widger, SUNDAY TRIBUNE 'Worth buying for its first and last chapters alone, which ... convey the author's fear for his life so vividly that as a reader you are almost as frightened on his behalf' Michael Kerr, DAILY TELEGRAPH 'What he excels at is capturing that moment of animal fear when he's surrounded by cocaine-fuelled, drunk and inexplicably hostile drug smugglers and realises just how much trouble he's in' Ed King, SUNDAY TIMES 'This is a bloody, chaotic and at times brilliant brawl of a book. Grant is a gifted travel writer, and he does his best to capture the intense brew of madness that seems endemic to the area's society' Laurence Mackin, IRISH TIMES 'This is wonderfully vigorous writing, with meat and balls. In a world of travel writing often dominated by tortuous psychological journeys, it's refreshing to discover a writer who isn't afraid to look boldly out, rather than in' Dea Birkett, LITERARY REVIEW 'This thrilling account of Grant's journey through the notorious Mexican mountain range makes you feel as if you've been there...utterly gripping reading' SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE 'vividly described' ESQUIRE 'It's by turns funny, moving and fantastical. Grant has written a very human account of a fascinating region' Zena Alkaya, 'Book of the Week, METRO 'with its whip-smart dialogue, unyielding landscapes and gloriously filthy humour, this is undoubtedly the book the Sierra Madre deserves' Dan Linstead, WANDERLUST 'Superbly well written and intelligently observed' ADVENTURE TRAVEL 'Bandit Roads...captures the anarchic spirit of a desperate terrain' Donal O'Donoghue (4 ****), RTE GUIDE 'Thought-provoking and gripping, Bandit Roads captures the extreme character of Northern Mexico' BOLTON EVENING NEWS
Richard Grant is an English writer who has been based in the USA for fifteen years. His first book, GHOST RIDERS, attracted enormous praise, winning the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award