A shrunken head from Peru and a feather with traces of blood are the clues that launch Tahir Shah on his latest journey. Fascinated by the recurring theme of flight in Peruvian folklore, Shah sets out to discover whether the Incas really were able to “fly like birds” over the jungle, as a Spanish monk reported. Or were they drug-induced hallucinations? His journey, full of surreal experiences, takes him from the Andes Mountains to the desert and finally, in the company of a Vietnam vet, up the Amazon deep into the jungle to discover the secrets of the Shuar, a tribe of legendary savagery.
Tahir Shah’s flair for the unusual reveals Peru as we’ve never seen it. With his trademark humor, abundant curiosity, and oddball assortment of companions, he offers a journey that is no less illuminating than it is hilarious—and true.