Written by Antonin Varenne Sam Taylor (trans.)
Review by Mike Ashworth

Nebraska, 1871. Pete Ferguson is a murderer, army deserter, and is wanted for theft and arson. Changing his name to Billy Webb, he joins a group of bison hunters – the start of a journey which will take him along the Comancheros Road to Mexico, Guatemala and then on to find the equator. His interest is piqued by stories of a world where rain flow upwards, and people walk upside down. A drifter, is he running away from the law, or his past? He becomes involved with a woman who will change his destiny. Together they will sabotage an attempted coup d’état and journey to the equator before finding answers. Will he return and face his past?

This novel is a combination of Western, adventure, and an intimate character study. Like peeling an onion, Billy Webb’s character and past are slowly revealed, not only by his actions, but by a series of letters written to his brother Oliver, who has remained on the ranch Billy had left after his father’s suicide – the catalyst for all his actions. An excellent translation from the French, this is a slow burning, but very rewarding novel which challenges your initial opinions of what is, on the surface, a damaged young man. Recommended.