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Cover of Dastgah

Mark Mordue


Diary of a Headtrip
  • nonfiction
  • ISBN 0-9716915-6-8

Award-winning Australian journalist Mark Mordue invites you on his world trip that ranges from a Rolling Stones concert in Istanbul to talking with mullahs and junkies in Tehran, and from a cricket match in Calcutta to an S&M bar in New York, in addition to many points in between. Mordue chronicles his year-long global journey with his girlfriend, Lisa Nicol, exploring countries most Americans never see as well as issues of world citizenship in the twenty-first century. Written in the tradition of literary journalism, Dastgah will take you to all kinds of places, across the world ... and inside yourself.

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Praise for Dastgah

I just took a trip around the world in one go, first zigzagging my way through this incredible book, and finally, almost feverishly, making sure I hadn’t missed out on a chapter along the way. I’m not sure what I’d call it now: A road movie of the mind, a diary, a love story, a new version of the subterranean homesick and wanderlust blues — anyway, it’s a great ride. Paul Bowles and Kerouac are in the back, and Mark Mordue has taken over the wheel of that pickup truck from Bruce Chatwin, who’s dozing in the passenger seat.

Wim Wenders
Director of Wings of Desire, Paris, Texas and The Buena Vista Social Club

Wide-awake and sensuously lyrical, Mark Mordue’s Dastgah gets in behind the shell of the familiar, reminding us that the world is vast and strange and that everything is – in case we’ve forgotten – happening for the first time.

Sven Birkerts
Editor of AGNI and author of My Sky Blue Trades

An extraordinary and dazzling voyage across continents and into the mind. Mordue’s book is almost impossible to summarize – reportage, reflection and poetry are all conjured onto the page as he grapples with the state of the world and his place in it.

Giles Milton
Author of Nathaniel's Nutmeg: Or, the True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History

A lovely, fascinating book.

David Almond
Author of The Fire-Eaters and 2003 Whitbread Award Winner

Meticulously assembled … Mordue has elevated Dastgah beyond the realms of the traditional travelogue by sharing not only what he learned about cultures he visited, but also his brutally honest self-discoveries.


A lovely, impressionistic book … idiosyncratic, entertaining, vulnerable and unpretentious … Mordue skitters between worlds, not sparing his readers the contrast.


Dastgah is much more about what it means to be a traveler than a travel book. This is brave writing, unafraid to open itself to awkward emotions with honesty and passion.

Marie Claire