Rudy Wurlitzer‘s Hard Travel to Sacred Places takes us to the depths of depression caused by death, amplified by the depression of middle-class travel and expensive hotels in S.E. Asia. A kind of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but take out the drugs and toss in Buddhism. Although it’s billed as travel writing, I found the actual locations and travelling to take a back seat to the author’s attempt to reconcile the loss of his step-son with his spiritual beliefs. Indeed, if one were to take out all the Buddhist quotes, the book would probably be halved in length.