“There’s no denying that the stoned rovers were present at the beginning of a cataclysmic period in history, whose legacy Magic Bus describes in exquisite detail.”—The New York Times Book Review
“MacLean’s ardent eye for detail is lovely, as is the way he sets his more visually descriptive prose against the sturdier explanations of the names and places in his travels….His prose is guided by an informed curiosity about what the trail must have been like 40 years ago and how a Western presence there has contributed to its present state.”—Boston Globe
“Most impressively, MacLean has a genuine understanding of the mystical and spiritual elements at play. His engaging traveler’s voice and descriptive gifts offer a wholly different view of the tortured region from what is currently available via the mainstream media.”—Foreword Magazine
“MacLean does a fine job finding journalists and local people who remember the hippies and their impact on both the economy and the sensibility of the places they passed through…Travelers of all kinds, including the armchair variety, will relish the work and love MacLean has put into his latest.”—Publisher’s Weekly
“MacLean’s vivid writing shows how much the Hippie Trail changed not only the way we travel, but also the places it passed through and the people who traveled on it.”—Utne Reader
“A magic journey—lyrical, sympathetic, but gently skeptical.”—Colin Thubron
“An exciting and lively account of how the ideals of Kerouac metamorphosed into back-packer travel: organized by Lonely Planet guides, fed with banana pancakes, and connected by hotmail from Peru to Phnom Penh.”—Rory Stewart
In the 1960s and 1970s, hundreds of thousands of young westerners in search of enlightenment blazed the “hippie trail” that ran through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. Forty years later, Rory MacLean revisits the trail, where he encounters the tie-dyed veterans who never made it home, meets locals reaping the rewards and regrets of westernization, and crashes up against Taliban fighters and Islamic extremism, which has turned the hippie trail into a path of dust and danger.
Rory MacLean is the author of five books, including Stalin’s Nose and Falling for Icarus. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Executive Committee of English PEN, Rory’s work has been nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.