The Way of the World, a cult classic, is the beguiling tale of an impecunious and life-enhancing journey from Geneva to the Khyber Pass in the '50s. When Nicolas Bouvier and the artist Thierry Vernet set out, they had money for four months and a sturdy Fiat Topolino. They broke their journey when money ran low, to teach and sell paintings and articles in Istanbul, Tabriz and eventually in Quetta. Gravitating towards the poorer neighbourhoods, they spent intoxicating nights listening to gypsy musicians, trading poetry with Iranian tramps and entertaining their fellow drinkers with songs and an accordion. The Way of the World is also a journey towards the self. 'You think you are making a trip,' writes Bouvier, 'but soon it is making you - or unmaking you.'
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