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The Glass Palace Chronicle

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Heroin, monks and traffickers in drug-haunted Burma

Claudia, an English student down and out in Paris, picks up a man in a bar to earn the fare home, and gets offered a free trip to Burma. Paul wants her to pose as his wife for two weeks, but he won’t tell her why. Claudia has no home, no money, no degree, no plans. So why not take a trip?

She finds herself travelling back in time to a country of pagoda-studded plains where oxcarts outnumber automobiles, enchantment rubs shoulders with poverty, and the government has resorted to wholesale drug trafficking to keep the economy afloat.

But Paul has enemies determined to see him dead. Magic turns into nightmare, the journey becomes a flight – and then Claudia finds out what Paul really wants her to do.

“Packed with action and suspense, this is also a compassionate portrait of a beautiful and troubled country,” said The Good Book Guide, while the Daily Telegraph noted that “the atmosphere spirals from apprehension to paralysing, hypnotic terror.”

The journey that inspired the book is recounted in The South-East Asian Road Novel on this site.

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