Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Scenes From My Global Divorce

BB sent me this letter and I'm using it to kick off his blog:

"Well, I’m sorry but I wasn't ready for this divorce.

The other two were more like being banned from a bar; this one knocked me sideways. I started writing the book I’d been talking about. I travelled. I went to Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia and I wrote as I went, kept connected to my divorce by the most up-to-date technology available on my budget.

My idea – reached after reading Redmond O'Hanlon's Congo Journey and PJ O'Rourke's Holidays in Hell at the same time and drinking a little too much Tennessee whiskey – was to create a form of travel writing that took real places and tweaked them with my magically realistic view of the world.

So now I’ve finished the book of just over 100,000 words and it’s been an extraordinary year of denial and rebirth. As the replicant said in Blade Runner, I've seen things you wouldn't believe.

I’ve seen the furious storms of Burkina Faso, with the added inconvenience of having the spirit of Thomas Sankara lodged inside me and grumbling. I can tell you I got a whole new angle on being politically engaged.

I’ve lectured the people of Nicaragua on democracy, ending within a heartbeat of getting elected, within a whisker of being popped. I’ve glimpsed the eternity of the Eternal City – its cruelty, its inevitability, its traffic. I’ve played poker for strip clubs and hotels beside the Temple of the Jaguar in Tikal at midnight. I’ve handled the PR of a man who was suing God in the Deep South of the USA. I’ve carved an iconic band – an African Abba – from the different tribes of Mali and brought them over to London to try to make the word listen.

I’ve chased the reason for my divorce all the way down the length of Vietnam to the Mekong, finally confronting the man who convinced my wife to leave me.

You might have heard me say that “everything is way possible” - I had to convince people that was true. And it's all here in this book, which has come in at just over 100,000 words and is called ‘Scenes from My Global Divorce’. Adventures, deals, visions, visitations, thoughts, terrorists, musicians.

Enjoy the book!"

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