George Kennan’s trek through the frozen wastes of the Siberian tundra in 1866 is now complete and as a change of scene I have moved to the nerve-jangling jungle in post-war, despot ridden West Africa. For now I am Chasing the Devil with Tim Butcher; plotting a course on the route of Graham Greene’s Journey Without Maps through Sierra Leone and Liberia in the aftermath of the civil war and the overthrow of Charles Taylor. It promises to be gripping stuff.
That will lead me on to Bruce Chatwin, and the one book of his which I have yet to read. The Viceroy of Ouidah completed the collection and it now sits enticingly on the bedside table, an apt follow up to Butcher’s journey in the lands of slavery and smuggling. There might be some late night reading this week.