O'Hanlon slogs on in this modern-day Heart of Darkness, finds love in the arms of a baby gorilla that defecates on him, and journeys inward to explore the boundaries between science and sorcery. Unhinged and slightly dislocated, he comes to rely on a magic talisman, a lump of string and monkey fur wrapped around the severed finger of a dead child. O'Hanlon has carried the pouch around for the last seven years. "I realize this fetish is on very marshy ground intellectually," he says. "But it doesn't matter if you believe it or not, it plays straight into the subconscious." When O'Hanlon briefly lost the totem last year in a Rotterdam hotel, he broke into a cold sweat.
From his Pelican House perch, O'Hanlon is already planning his next raid, on the wilds of New Guinea. He hankers to see a tree kangaroo. "Besides," he says, "New Guinea is where one of the Rockefellers was eaten." Does he fear becoming an entree? "Over there, being served by your hosts is a great compliment," he allows. A puckish smile flickers across his face. "And what better shortcut to learning than eating a professor?"