In June 2001, the king of Nepal and almost his entire family were massacred. Unrest, simmering over the previous decade, boiled over and pushed the nation into free fall. In 2005, the dead kings brother reinstated monarchy, crushing any hope that parliamentary democracy would flourish in Nepal. A period fraught with uncertainty and intense turmoil ensued: the Maoists waged a bloody Peoples War; the monarchy mounted a bloodier counter-insurgency effort; political parties bickered and fought endlessly; and the citizens bore the brunt of it all.
Wide-ranging in scope the book spans the beginning of the monarchy, through the early democratic movements, to the present Forget Kathmandu is many things: history, memoir, reportage, travelogue, analysis. But, above all, it is an unflinching, clear-sighted attempt to make sense of the bad politics that plagued and continues to plague the country. It remains as worryingly relevant to present-day Nepal as it was when first published in 2005.