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Trail of Feathers: In Search of the Birdmen of Peru

Trail of Feathers: In Search of the Birdmen of Peru

From Publishers Weekly

Being the type of guy who hangs about at shrunken , sleeps in hotel rooms washed in human blood and traverses the U.S. for a month without ever leaving an airport, Shah (Sorcerer's Apprentice) is comfortable in strange company. So when a fellow shrunken head devotee sends him a rust-colored feather dipped in blood and tells him to go in search of the Birdmen of Peru, there is no way he can refuse. Armed with cumbersome camping equipment and a vague idea that flight was invented long before the Wright Brothers, Shah traverses Peru as if at a treasure hunt, picking up clues in his quest to discover if the Incas could really fly. His beguiling ways, reflected in the seductive warmth of his writing, charm even the most exclusive strangers; they proffer an aborted llama fetus and guinea pig therapy for good fortune, then lead him to a sinking reed boat on the Amazon and a tribe of legendary cannibals, the Shuar, with whom he finally discovers ayahusasca the secret of Incan flight. Shah's passion for the bizarre and grotesque suffuses the book, and his writing is inspired, very funny and always respectful of the traditions and cultures he encounters. Supported by a thorough appendix, this tale is as marvelously multifaceted and offbeat as its author's shrunken head obsession might lead one to expect. 16 pages color photos. (May)
Copyright 2002 , Inc.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Description

A shrunken head from Peru and a feather with traces of blood are the clues that launch Tahir Shah on his latest journey. Fascinated by the recurring theme of flight in Peruvian folklore, Shah sets out to discover whether the Incas really were able to "fly like birds" over the jungle, as a reported. Or were they drug-induced hallucinations? His journey, full of surreal experiences, takes him from the to the desert and finally, in the company of a Vietnam vet, up the Amazon deep into the jungle to discover the secrets of the Shuar, a tribe of legendary savagery.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Tahir Shah was born into Afghan nobility in 1966 and grew up in England. He has written widely on the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and South America. When not traveling, he lives in London with his wife and daughter.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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