A hugely engaging debut The Beach meets Are You Experienced meets Mr Nice - from leading Guardian journalist Duncan Campbell.
A witty, poignant and, at times, tragic novel about the passing of an age where nothing seems to matter until the hard, cruel world comes knocking at the door.
It's 1971, and the travellers who end up in the flea-pit Lux Hotel in Calcutta are determined to have a good time. There's ex-public schoolboy Gordon, the cool American Larry,a weird pair of Australians, and Freddie Braintree, the acid casualty. Their scene is innocence and inner journeys. But there's a war going on between India and Pakistan and a mysterious hippie killer is lurking in the dark alleyways of the city. Meanwhile, Hugh, the straight one who is trying to build a career, is covering the war for a British newspaper but he hasn't a clue what he is doing. The shocking massacres and brutality he witnesses cast a long shadow over all their lives.
From 1986, both at university and during an earlier career in corporate finance, Duncan spent every Saturday working for a well-known silver dealer in Portobello Road. Since 1993 he has built up a specialist silver business based in Bath, south-west England, focusing on the more unusual areas, such as early, foreign and colonial, ecclesiastical and rare silver.
Duncan has produced silver catalogues and research for a wide variety of private clients and also for institutions, including The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Braziers, The City of Nottingham Museum, The Baltic Exchange, Lloyd's of London and The Bowes Museum. Since 2009 he has also been an expert on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, one of his highlights having been the discovery of a silver spoon dating back to 1440.