My friend Marco Ferrarese has published his latest and very very cool travel anthology, The Travels of Marco Yolo: Blazing Trails where Marco Polo Feared to Go.
It’s a great read that jumps all over Asia and the Middle East, including some pretty obscure and remote corners, proving that good travel writing survives among all the tepidly commercial literary terror out there.
Marco asked me to write the foreword, so here’s a short extract, conceived to aggrandize myself while riding the Ferrari crazy train…
“I first met Marco Ferrari in a flash Bangkok shopping centre, the type of soul-sucking consumerist hell we both detested. He’d emailed me asking to meet on his forthcoming jaunt to Thailand. Apparently he felt I was some kind of role model, being a German writer working in English who’d managed to scratch a living from my craft for the previous couple of decades. I took one look at his literary anarchist blog – Monkey Rock World – and thought, fuck, this guy likes all the things I like. That was a huge shock. I had to do something.
I told him that his career choice was awful, that freelance journalists were generally treated like shit and didn’t get paid properly and that fiction writing was a mug’s game for romantic losers. That was then of course. These days, things are much better. Journalists are now well respected and well funded. Writers are finally getting rich. Society now understands that without investigative, meaningful articles and great fiction, barbarism is never far away. I now employ sumo wrestlers to heat the gold plated pool on cool mornings and to cool it down on hot ones. They do that with their tongues, somehow…”
And the rather excellent cover is by Rizo Leong from the formidable Borneo based Pangrok Sulap art collective.