They just don’t make them like they used to. Men, I mean – those testosterone-charged seekers of danger, whose only way to feel good is to feel afraid. Then along comes Richard Grant, and the tradition of the male writer who seeks to feel alive by courting death is revived. Grant says he is ‘prepared to stake my personal safety’ for ‘the heightened awareness, the melting away of boredom and the thrill of the unfamiliar that comes with going to dangerous places where I don’t belong’.
The Sierra Madre is just such a fearful, foreign land. In this legendary mountain range, stretching across northern Mexico, the only authority is in the hands of brutal, rival drug mafias, and murder is a common cause of death. Everyone knows someone who has been killed in a feud. Grant