Flash, or, The Long Trip
Number of pages
***Complete English translation available***
A cult text in the vein of Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-fueled travelogue Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Flash ou le grand voyage tells the tribulations of Charles Duchaussois’s odyssey from Marseille to Katmandu, with stops in Lebanon, Istanbul, Baghdad, Tehran, and Kabul.
May 1968: After a few years of the vagrant life in South France, Duchaussois receives a telegram from an old friend inviting him to visit him in Beirut. This is the start of a long journey that will take him to the Lebanese mountains, Turkey, Kuwait, Iran, and finally Nepal, where he discovers the seductive world of hippies and experiments with all kinds of drugs. From the first injection of heroin to his LSD-induced trips, Duchaussois is caught up in an overpowering downward spiral. To get out of it, he decides to take a last trip to the Himalayas to kill himself with a lethal dose of a combination of drugs. In the mountains, he sees a level of poverty that he has never seen before and starts dressing the wounds of the villagers. Reduced to skin and bones, his clothes in tatters, he wanders, ready to die. In a twist of fate, a friend comes to rescue him and brings him back to Katmandu. He soon realizes that this so-called friend tracked him down only so that he could continue to pay his bills. Alone and delirious, he is eventually sent back to France by the French mental-health authorities, where he enters a rehab clinic.
An original and compelling memoir, Flash exposes the adventures of a survivor, a chameleon torn between good and bad, between his medical sessions in Himalayan villages and his petty robberies and drug addictions.
Charles Duchaussois : Charles Duchaussois was born into a family of diplomats in 1940. He published his memoir, Flash ou le grand voyage, in 1971.