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About the book
  • Published: 1 November 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407087047
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336
Categories:

Chasing the Devil

The Search for Africa's Fighting Spirit




The bestselling author of Blood River ventures into Sierra Leone and Liberia in the footsteps of Graham Greene... Travelogue, history and audacious adventure.

For many years Sierra Leone and Liberia have been too dangerous to travel through, bedevilled by a uniquely brutal form of violence from which sprang many of Africa's cruellest contemporary icons - child soldiers, prisoner mutilation, blood diamonds. With their wars officially over, Tim Butcher sets out on a journey across both countries, trekking for 350 miles through remote rainforest and malarial swamps. Just as he followed H M Stanley through the Congo - a journey described in his bestseller Blood River - this time he pursues a trail blazed by Graham Greene in 1935 and immortalised in the travel classic Journey Without Maps. Greene took 26 bearers, a case of scotch, and hammocks in which he and his cousin Barbara were carried. Tim walks every blistering inch to gain an extraordinary ground-level view of a troubled and overlooked region.

As a journalist in Africa, Tim came to know both countries well although the wars made trips to the jungle hinterland far too risky. This is where he now heads, exploring how rebel groups thrived in the bush for so long and whether the devil of war has truly been chased away. He encounters other 'devils', masked figures guarding the spiritual secrets of jungle communities. Some are no more threatening than schoolmasters but others are much more sinister, relying on ritual cannibalism as a source of their magical power. Tim encounters these devils on an epic journey that demands courage, doggedness and good fortune.

Chasing the Devil is a dramatic travel book touching on one of the most fraught parts of the globe at a unique moment in its history. Weaving history and anthropology with personal narrative - as well as new discoveries about Greene - it is as exciting as it is enlightening.

  • Pub date: 1 November 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407087047
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336
Categories:

About the Author

Tim Butcher

Tim Butcher is a best-selling author who blends travel with history. His first book, Blood River, was a number one bestseller, a Richard & Judy Book Club selection and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, while his next, Chasing the Devil, was longlisted for the George Orwell Prize. A journalist with the Daily Telegraph from 1990 to 2009, in 2010 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Northampton for services to writing. Born in Great Britain, he is based in Cape Town with his family.

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Praise for Chasing the Devil

“From blood diamonds to child soldiers, with a little ritual cannibalism and a few dancing devils thrown into the mix, this is an eye-opening read.”

Waterstones Book Quarterly

“Chasing the Devil is a brave and fascinating successor to the bestselling Blood River.”

Dan Linstead, Wanderlust


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