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Wild Coast

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John Gimlette travels to Guyana, to the Wild Coast in South America, and discovers his ancestral colonial history - one of brutal, cruel and often uncomfortable truths

About the Author

John Gimlette has travelled to over sixty countries and has published several books to critical acclaim, including At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig and is a winner of the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize. He contributes regularly to radio and print media including the Guardian, Telegraph, The Times, Independent, Wanderlust and Geographical.


A completely fascinating book. It opens up a forgotten corner of the world with tremendous flair and shrewd observation -- William Boyd Wild Coast is funny, intelligent, revelatory * Joseph O'Neill, author of Netherland * A moving, often humorous, and thoroughly enjoyable account that works as both a wartime recollection and travelogue * Booklist * Great for those interested in Guyanese history, or those looking to explore a South America far from the well-trodden Gringo trail -- Ianthe Butt * Real Travel * Gimlette has an eye for a juicy story, a willingness to embark on harebrained journeys and a gleeful way with similes, all of which makes this an entertaining introduction to a forgotten corner of the globe. -- Siobhan Murphy * Metro * Gimlette is an old-school traveller, very British, very cheery. A barrister by trade, the author has an uncanny ability to nail down his characters with a few well-chosen words... Gimlette brings history to life. He artfully merges assiduous research with a storyteller's gift. -- Oliver Balch * Guardian * A fascinating journey... Gimlette's extensive research has given him access to an intoxicating level of detail. -- Tom Hawker * Wanderlust * John Gimlette is sure to secure a name for himself as both a talented writer and a rare traveller who, as documented in the dark chronicles of his book, has visited South America's wild coast and returned apparently unscathed. Fortunately, his writing sculpts an interesting narrative too, and he conveys the region's horror stories with a healthy dose of humour, knowledge, sincerity and poetry... As with all good travel books, the pace of Gimlette's investigations and the idiosyncratic nature of his discoveries, no matter how small, are infectious enough to ensure his account holds its own against these literary greats. * Traveller * Remarkable... Gimlette is, refreshingly, an unfailing enthusiast... Wild Coast is driven by extraordinary dedication, an insatiable curiosity in everything and an enormous empathy for other people. Gimlette's descriptions of landscapes are often hauntingly beautiful, his sense of humour is engagingly dead-pan... His book is characterised by a thoroughness of research that puts most travel writers to shame... a lucid and lively account of a multi-cultural history... A reminder... of the way in which travel literature can still fulfil its role of bringing to life some of the world's unjustly neglected corners. -- Michael Jacobs * Spectator * Writing that races you through faster than you can turn the pages, a story that transports you to a place you barely knew about before, and all done with a relaxed nonchalance which totally disregards the tough travels John Gimlette's Dolman Award winner clearly involved. Before reading Wild Coast my Guianas knowledge could be summarised as 'don't drink the Kool-Aid, don't end up on Devil's Island, but do go there for an Ariane space launch.' I'm way better informed today. -- Chairman of the judges * Tony Wheeler * Fabulously vivid and absorbing -- John Walsh * Independent on Sunday *

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