Books

Dispatches from Pluto Can be purchased from these links…AmazonB&NBAMIndieBound

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“The truest book about the Mississippi Delta since Rising Tide.”

 (Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic)

“[Grant] succeeds, and with flair. His empathic manner, reportorial talent and eye for the unexpected detail make this a chigger-bitten trip that entertains as much as it informs.”

(The New York Times Book Review)

“Readers with an appetite for a deep-fried version of A Year in Provence will find much to sate them here. … [Grant is] like a deeper and way funkier version of Peter Mayle. … it’s the individual voices and anecdotes he records that give Dispatches from Pluto its dissonant lilt and outré charm.”

(Jonathan Miles Garden & Gun)

Grant takes a fillet knife and lays us open to the bone, like you might a catfish. He exposes our idiosyncratic insanity and brilliance, both the failure and the promise that are driven by an intimate yet remote love/hate relationship along the racial divide. It’s sad and beautiful at the same time.”

— Mississippi State Senator John Horhn

“Part travelogue, part sociological study, part memoir, and part nonfiction heir to the works of William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams, Dispatches from Pluto is provocative in the best kind of way. Grant approaches his subjects with empathy, yet pulls no punches. The result is an honest, engaging account of life in one of America’s most beguiling, bewildering cultural outposts. This book is a revelation.”

Alan Huffman, author of Mississippi in Africa

“In the best tradition of Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad, British travel writer Richard Grant explores the otherworldly Mississippi Delta by settling into an aging plantation home and letting himself be captured by an eccentric, racially-tortured and wondrously hospitable culture. Dispatches from Pluto is wise, wry, sympathetic and spot-on.”

Curtis Wilkie, author of The Fall of the House of Zeus

“Richard gets it.  Many authors that write about the Delta may come and stay a few months, then go back to their comfortable hometowns to burn or scathe the Delta’s mores, customs and culture. Richard bought an old plantation house here to become a part of the Delta and he writes about it in a way that brings laughter, astonishment, complexity and perplexity.”

Hank Burdine, Delta Magazine

“I’ve never read anything like this before, so ‘plain out’ revealing of humanity’s true nature— how we have tangled ourselves up into the goofball messy life we’ve made on earth (let alone Pluto) while still having a moment or two where we are incredibly kind and sensible.”

Carolyn Chute, author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine and Treat Us Like Dogs and We Will Become Wolves

“Richard Grant is the ultimate cool customer, a fearless and skilled writer navigating the backwaters of rural Mississippi with his humanity on his sleeve, trying to get to the heart of what makes the Delta such a unique and soulful place while recounting a harrowing and funny, wise and heartwarming personal journey from nomad to proud homeowner.  This is a great book.”

Mark Haskell Smith, author of Naked at Lunch

“Think what Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil could have been like if the author had a sympathetic understanding of the people.  Richard Grant’s Plutonic approach to the Delta turns up some marvelous surprises here.”

Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls’ Rising

“A wonderful book. You think that it’s going to be the story of a somewhat feckless Englishman who makes the crazed decision to buy a major-fixer-upper in the Deep South (and it is), but it’s also a humane and honest book about racism in America, viewed from racism’s heartland, the Mississippi Delta. Grant brings the Delta to life, not only with its crowds of mosquitoes and termites and raccoons and cottonmouths, but also with blues musicians, mayors, rappers, preachers, prisoners, socialites, handymen, politicians, doctors, hunters, and one very curious and adventure-loving German shepherd, all of whose lives intertwine — and entertain. There’s a funeral or two in here, a wedding, a housewarming, and a satisfying handful of big drunken parties. Whether he’s writing about how to shoot a buck or how to heat a house, Grant is funny, funny, funny. He’s even funny at funerals, yet through all the escapades and hilarity, he never loses sight of the problem of Delta race relations, and he confronts the issue with an outsider’s honesty and aplomb. Like all the best travel writers, Grant loves the place he’s writing about, and that transcendent affection is apparent on every page.”

Amy Wilentz, author of Farewell, Fred Voodoo

Crazy River

NO ONE TRAVELS QUITE LIKE RICHARD GRANT and, really, no one should. In his last book, the adventure classic God’s Middle Finger, he narrowly escaped death in  Mexico’s lawless Sierra Madre. Now, Grant has plunged with his trademark recklessness, wit, and curiosity into East Africa. Setting out to make the first descent of an unexplored river in Tanzania, he gets waylaid in Zanzibar by thieves, whores, and a charismatic former golf pro before crossing the Indian Ocean in a rickety cargo boat. And then the real adventure begins. Known to local tribes as “the river of bad spirits,” the Malagarasi River is a daunting adversary even with a heavily armed Tanzanian crew as travel companions. Dodging bullets, hippos, and crocodiles, Grant finally emerges in war-torn Burundi, where he befriends some ethnic street gangsters and trails a notorious man-eating crocodile known as Gustave. He concludes his journey by interviewing the dictatorial president of Rwanda and visiting the true source of the Nile. Gripping, illuminating, sometimes harrowing, often hilarious, Crazy River is a brilliantly rendered account of a modern-day exploration of Africa, and the unraveling of Grant’s peeled, battered mind as he tries to take it all in.

Crazy River

Reviews:

“Armchair explorers, rejoice! Richard Grant has gone where we dare not and brought back the news in all its rich, harrowing and lucid detail. The best book about Africa since Paul Theroux’s Dark Star Safari.” –T.C. Boyle, author of The Women and When the Killing’s Done

“Fear and loathing in East Africa as travel writer Grant traverse the ravaged continent in search of a mysterious river and the source of the Nile…Dyspeptic, disturbing and brilliantly realized, Grant’s account of Africa is literally unforgettable.” – Kirkus Reviews,Starred review

“Grant’s gift for getting detoured…makes this one of the year’s most surprising adventure books, taking us well beyond jungle and river..part sociologist, part journalist, and “more interested in what happened along the way than achieving goals or reaching destinations.” – Men’s Journal

“As he did in God’s Middle Finger, Grant takes us into a world where few willingly venture. His feverish journey from Zanzibar, down an uncharted river and into the broken heart of 21st century Africa is by turns funny, poignant, frightening and deeply disturbing. The future Grant shows us with such lucidity and compassion is one his predecessors, Stanley, Livingstone and Burton could never have envisioned.” – John Vaillant, author of The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

“Way back when, we crawled out of the Great Rift in Africa. Richard Grant explains that this ancient womb is the theater of our future. This coming world will have a lot of people fighting over dwindling piles of junk. This future will looks a lot like murder. This time we are all going down Crazy River and forget the damn life jackets. They belong to the past we devoured. Let Richard Grant take you to your new home. But let me warn you: we will not get home before dark.” — Charles Bowden, author of Murder City

 

God’s Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre | Published by Free Press on March 4, 2008

God’s Middle Finger

“A reportorial tour de force, with a cast of characters straight out of a Cormac McCarthy novel.” — The New York Times

”This is exactly the book you’re hoping for when you pick it up: a crazy, sprawling story so well-written, you can’t decide whether to keep reading or go to Mexico to see for yourself. Keep reading: You have an extraordinary book in your hands.”
— Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm

“Grant is the finest kind of travel narrator; though fully cognizant of the dangers and foolhardiness of his obsession with this land, he throws himself into crazy situations and narrates with unflappable charm and humor.” — Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“There is nothing here of the ‘I jumped over the puddle’ aspect of modern adventure stories. As an Englishman, Grant has far too much of the mad dog in his character, and I am surprised indeed that he survived his journey. This is a thoroughly enlivening book, the rare kind that makes you want to sleep with the pistol under your pillow.” — Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall and Returning to Earth

 

American Nomads: Travels with Lost Conquistadors, Mountain Men, Cowboys, Indians, Hoboes, Truckers, and Bullriders | Published by Grove Press on January 7, 2005

American Nomads

Grant, an English writer who has written for GQ and Esquire, has penned a travelogue par excellence, cloaked in the robes of a sociological examination of the American nomad. Resolved to leave his own sedentary life, the author spends time with an assortment of truckers, rodeo cowboys, RV-ers, and wanna-be Indians (usually white computer geeks looking for escape). […] This is a wondrous essay, documenting a style of life that eschews government authority–property taxes, drug laws, gun laws, nudity laws, truancy laws, and sexual age-of-consent laws. For all the problems inherent in such a lifestyle, readers may still fantasize about what life could be like away from the rat race.
— Allen Weakland for Booklist

On the Road. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Leaves of Grass. Walden. Melville’s Mardi. Junky. Anything by Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara, Ken Kesey or Dr Timothy Leary. Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”. Even, say, Toby Litt’s Beatniks. If you enjoyed any of these, you will probably enjoy Richard Grant’s Ghost Riders: Travels With American Nomads.
— The Guardian (UK)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]