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The Road To Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  30 reviews
When stress-headed Mad Harry spontaneously books a flight for Egypt, he doesn't know he's about to embark on a mad-as-fuck pot-smoking pilgrimage of adventure.

In fact, he's not even sure why he's going, or what he's going to do when he gets there. All he knows is he's got to get away.

Guided by signs in numbers, names and otherworldly encounters, Mad Harry's trip often seem
Kindle Edition
Published December 11th 2014
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Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Before you start reading this book play the opening theme tune for the Mighty Boosh...because you are about to go on a journey.

This is one hell of an amazing book, by far the best thing I've read by the Whitewolf, the book is so emotional you won't be able to avoid getting caught up in the madness of Egypt and the rollercoaster that is Harry's mind... during the scenes where Harry is suffering from a headcold and was feeling feverish I felt it too. The time he spent ill is so well written, it's
James Morcan
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An English Bob Marley finds "purification" in hassles hustlers hookers n hash in Egypt

When do we get to the purification part, sir?
That's what I kept thinking in this second book I've read of Whitewolf's.
This is anything but a purification!
But what can you expect from a lead character/narrator called "Mad Harry" who takes copious amounts of drugs and whose dreadlocked appearance leads to Egyptians nicknaming him Bob Marley everywhere he goes?

"Vicarious" is how I'd describe this book in one word.
Kevin Cole
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only Beatnik book I ever liked was Dharma Bums. For the first and only time, it seemed, Kerouac not only reined in the typewriter diarrhea, he seemed content to tell a simple story, with a beginning, middle and end. If he'd done this with all his books, I might've dug what the Beats were all about. Instead, I was turned off. Only Dharma Bums left a nice impression, to the point that I even wished, while reading, that I, too, were exploring Zen Buddhism in northern California during the 1950' ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-author
Join Mad Harry as he takes a trip to forget. Some respite to find himself again. A spur of the moment decision that had to be made. Leaving the UK abruptly for Egypt after a breakup, he hopes the spiritual mojo of the ancient places can do him some good. There are chaos and cons in Cairo. Dirty beaches in Alexandria. Luxury in Luxor. Finally on to Dahab. Will it be the paradise he has heard so much about? Constantly tested by swindlers through a buddy system designed to give them all a cut of th ...more
Chris Harrison
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Guides to foreign travel tend to fall into two camps: Rough Guide/Lonely Planet hipster real-life travel; and posh folk writing idyllic memoirs of unrealistically tranquil settings, sometimes accompanied by tame wildlife.

Harry Whitewolf's odyssey falls into a camp of its own. An autobiographical miasma of reportage, history lessons and 'what to avoid' advice you'll never read in a mainstream published book.

Mad Harry (Whitewolf)'s trials begin in Cairo setting a pattern of maniac taxi drivers, ma
Daniel Clausen
Full disclosure: There is no way I can give this book a fair review. Harry and I have written a book together called “ReejecttIIon -- A Number 2.”

As advertised in the title of the book, you will meet hustlers, you will experience hassles, and hash will make up a great part of your journey. Whether true purification is reached in the course of this journey is another question. I tend to think of true purification as something rather elusive. For Harry, though, the course to purification should h
Leo Robertson
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mad Harry (apt moniker for this journey) is very clever: he has seen a gap in the market for a renaissance of the Kerouaquian travel memoir, and he got in there first. His books, or blooks, or borks (seriously I don’t know what this is) are a perfect antidote to the YOLO NOHOMO FOMO bullshit we have to put up with in this day and age, an antidote to 1000 things to do before you die (if you have a list like this, there should be just one item on it: DIE.) Seriously, if I see a Facebook friend of ...more
Jim Cherry
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Breaking up is hard to do. We’ve invested our hopes and dreams in the other person and the relationship; when these dreams are broken our initial response is escape. We don’t want to be around the things or places that will remind us of the other person. For most of us that escape is into ourselves, not a physical escape. What if you could get away, change your locus in the world where nothing could possibly remind you of the other person, where would you go? Would it be just someplace else, a w ...more
Stephanie Jane
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, indie-author
I love the rhythms and poetry of Whitewolf's writing throughout The Road To Purification. Much of his extraordinary life-changing journey is written in very short paragraphs which, in style, fit perfectly with the recounting of his broken-hearted and sleepless stoner month in pre-revolution Egypt. Whitewolf sees more than the average package holiday tourist would expect to encounter so we get to read an unusually skewed and shrewd view of Egypt and her people. He is armed with his trusty (and us ...more
George Billions
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
You ever go through a breakup so bad you just want to quit your job and run away to some other country you don't know much about? Well, Mad Harry has lived the dream. In his case, he dropped everything and ran off to Egypt. This is his story.

I don't read a lot of travelogues, but Whitewolf's was engaging enough that I burned through it in a few days. A big part of the appeal is just how relatable Mad Harry is. I've definitely felt like him at various points in my life. His travel style is right
Luke Marsden
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, indie
This is Egypt through the eyes of one Mad Harry, broken-hearted and drifting geographically and narcotically through the void of loneliness that a broken relationship has left in its wake. Not caring too much for his immediate future, he goes to the land of the pharaohs, subject of a long-held fascination of his for its ancient history and beliefs, which itself tells us something of part of his spirit. Once there, he consciously surrenders himself to the vagaries of fate, which makes him an allu ...more
Tracy Reilly
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Harry: I got one--- what didyacallit? Mancunian? song for you:


If someone told you the plot of this novel, you might think it would be sort of tragic, a downer--Dread Dude, depressed from a breakup, impulsively splits for Egypt, feels uncomfortable cos he doesn't know where he is, is wary of a LOT of strangers, opts to spend much of his time in disgusting hotels alone smoking dope.

The surprising thing is that Harry manages to make this all ---eh, Fun!! No r
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Copy provided by the author in an exchange for an honest review

"Agression, murder, not being able to find common ground, and lies are amongst all those things that simply don't work. Whatever side you're on, you can't win. If you're fighting for peace, you've already lost."

It's better than Route Number 11. Still, I'd suggest that if you're interested in Harry's work, read that one first. Unlike the mentioned one, here we have a better look at our protagonist's personality, thoughts and op
Iona  Stewart
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book free in return for a review.

It is an easy, enjoyable read, penned in the author´s distinctive, colloquial, humorous style, which includes the continual, but not continuous, use of the f-word (but I got used to it).

This is apparently a true story, and the protagonist is called “Mad Harry”. He has just been dumped by his lady-friend, or at least experienced a bad break-up with her, and is consequently in a miserable, unbalanced state, hence the epithet “Mad”.

He has decided to
Rebecca Gransden
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Road to Purification we accompany Mad Harry as he travels to make sense of heartbreak and his placement at a particular time of flux in his life. Not quite certain what he is searching for he sets out for a faraway land, compelled by an unconscious wish that is too forceful to ignore.

We journey with Mad Harry as he encounters the many changing faces that populate his travels. As Mad Harry is experiencing a time of spiritual reflection and enquiry we are as unsteady in our perceptions of t
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was instantly confused when I started reading this one as, despite being published after ‘Route Number Eleven’, it’s actually set before it... I think... unless I’m even more confused than I thought. What can I say? Sometimes I’m a bear of very little brain!

Despite my feeling of having read these books in the wrong order, I still really enjoyed this trip through Egypt with Mad Harry. It was harder going at first, because our faithful protagonist is in a darker place at the beginning of the boo
Tony Sunderland
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My God! What an adventure... As someone who has traveled in Egypt, I found that this book is more like a guide of what can happen to someone who wants to escape his present life and be immersed into a foreign, even alien culture. Egypt is a land of timeless history but it is also very much a captive of the turmoil that surrounds many parts of the Middle East. In The Road to Purification, Harry Whitewolf takes the reader into parts of his own personal abyss and juxtaposes it against the sometimes ...more
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read! Mad Harry has escaped to Egypt to deal with his broken heart. Armed with a guidebook, Angel cards and no itinerary he sets out to see the sights with a determination not be hustled or hassled ......

Harry's writing is engaging and funny, and just flows, much like the character of Mad Harry. The descriptions and imagery conveyed gives the reader that proper heady feeling of being amongst the settings, the smells, the hustle and the hash.
Harry Whitewolf
A beat driven, dark but humorous, backpacking true story, which takes in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Hurghada and Dahab, as well as plenty of ancient sites like Abydos, Karnak, Dendara and the pyramids.
Anthony Stancomb
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book for everyone – but then the author is someone who seems to wander around the world with his dreadlocks, weed and booze, half Karl Pilkington and half Withnail, and wherever he goes he gets into trouble.
In this latest book, we find him careering around the Egypt passing comment on all that he sees like a James Joyce on acid. Drink and illegal substances seems to play a large part in the tale as he finds himself drawn to a motley crowd of dodgy characters and low-lifes - but th
Helen Noble
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Devil only ever comes three times. Everyone knows that.”

We meet Harry again, following his Argentinian quest, still fuelled (or plagued) by the 11:11 phenomenon he is pursuing.

Only this time, MAD Harry’s world has been turned on its head.

Seeking distraction after a relationship split, and having exchanged a pouch of tobacco with the ‘nowhere man in black,’ for a flash of inspiration, in the first chapter he finds himself immersed in a ‘sun-induced sweat, sweetened with spice and richness o
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kool-imports
If Rick Steves conducted a travelogue down the endlessly winding streets and alleys of Egypt with the help of Paul Bowles it still wouldn't be as insane as The Road of Purification. Harry Whitewolf wants drugs, he wants God, he wants women and he wants to take you higher!

I hope the next Harry Whitewolf adventure happens in the scary Philippines with its sinister natural disasters and even scarier Army, or perhaps he can traverse the glacial climes of Scandinavia in search of an arctic high. Have
Elisabet Norris
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this book I could for certain say that I had never smoked pot...or been to Egypt! This acid rabbit hole road trip of Egypt had me so engorged that I'm pretty sure I was in numerous apartments in Egypt smoking pot with a heart broken Mad Harry.

Mad Harry is a bad ass hustler and should write a book about how to beat the locals at their own game.

Enjoyed my pseudo pot smokin' trip to Egypt...thanks, Harry!
Rob Caldarera
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No spoilers for this one! Very "Madness" going on. Very interesting and read. ...more
Davor Dimoski
Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

First of all, I'd like to say that there is a huge improvement from the last book. The story had a nicer flow, it didn't jump from one point to another as abruptly as the previous one. In this book we follow Mad Harry on a mad trip to Egypt. After being left broken-hearted he books a trip to Egypt to rediscover himself. In this journey we get a better glimpse at Harry's personality - the cautious and distrustful side when he embarks upo
J. Harding
Oct 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Having first read some of Whitewolf's poetry, I believe I've read two of his poetry collections, I decided to switch gears and check out some of this non-poetry. This is a fun travelogue prose and it is fun. The title does not mislead; there's a bunch of hustlers, hassles and hash. ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a must read, Harry Whitewolf is an awesome story teller. Keeps you hooked.
Paul Wardle
Sep 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have read dozens of travelogues and memoirs in my time (some good, some not so good) but I really enjoyed this one and I would say it is up there with my favorites.

I applaud the openness and honesty of this writer. I find it refreshing that Harry Whitewolf lets his vulnerabilities and anxieties be known in such a genuine way and doesn't gloss over the trials and tribulations a traveler can encounter.

This tale is amusing, thought provoking and emotionally intelligent. Above all, it's 'human' an
Harry Whitewolf
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
A beat driven, dark but humorous, backpacking true story, which takes in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Hurghada and Dahab, as well as plenty of ancient sites like Abydos, Karnak, Dendara and the pyramids.

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Harry Whitewolf is doing his own thing.

He's the author of two ragamuffin travelling tales: Route Number 11 (about Harry's five-month drunken journey around Argentina; and across the borders to Paraguay, Chile and Brazil) and The Road To Purification (which describes his mad-as-fuck pot-smoking trip around Egypt). In addition, Harry has written ten collections of distinctive contemporary poetry, in

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151 likes · 9 comments
“What the hell does it all mean? Does 11:11 really mean anything at all? Well, that simply depends on whether you believe life has meaning in the first place.” 5 likes
“...That's the difference between backpackers and holiday makers. The former can't help but invite hassle whilst the latter pay to escape it.” 5 likes
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