From Publishers Weekly
Travel writer Eveleigh
's account of his journeys through the "great red island" as it was termed by Marco Polo, its first European visitor is a remarkable and essential look at "a country where daily life is governed by supernatural powers." In an attempt to understand the place, Eveleigh buys a pack bull and sets out on a 2,200-kilometer, three-month trek down the western edge of the world's fourth largest island. His journey is inspired by legends of the Vazimba people, a perhaps apocryphal tribe of supernatural white pygmies invisible in some stories, telepathic in others. Not surprisingly, he doesn't find them; instead, along with varying versions of the Vazimba myth told by a range of village leaders, he finds a rugged and treacherous landscape. As perhaps the first European to cross the "Zone Rouge" populated by feuding, armed tribesmen and equally threatening plant and animal life in more than a century, Eveleigh feels "nightmarishly vulnerable," but his terror is balanced by obvious love for Madagascar's "never, ever boring" history, people and daily life. His final days in the wild, street-fighting festival of the city of Antsalova bring his adventures to a riveting close: "If the Zone Rouge, with its prairie hamlets, cowboys and bandits, was like the old-time Wild West, then the dusty, brawling streets of Antsalova were Dodge City." (June)Forecast: A worthy addition to Lonely Planet Journeys, a series of travel reports published as an addition to the already popular Lonely Planet travel guide series, this book will interest anyone planning a trip to the island. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
in Madagascar" is the newest title in Lonely Planets Journeys series, a unique travel-writing collection. In his travels through the ancient Isle of the Moon, Eveleigh
encounters sorcerers and shamans, tyrannical queens and snakes said to be the spirits of the dead as he treks through rainforests and mountains. Uncovering an Indonesian and African influenced culture, Eveleighs journey takes you through a rich kingdom full of faces and places teeming with legend from a pirate whose entourage include a rebel French army, an Arabian princess and a young Italian priest, to Madagascars greatest king, Andrianampoinimerina. Mixing fable with fact, "Maverick in Madagascar" beautifully captures the spirit of Madagascar.