A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (Picador Books) Paperback – 4 Dec 1981
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'The master storyteller. He transformed travel writing' Independent
'One of the most enjoyable reads of the last century' Herald Tribune
'The most successful travel writer of his generation. It's impossible to read this book without laughing aloud' Observer
'Endlessly entertaining and self-deprecating' Daily Mail
'Full of serendipity and surprise' The Economist
'A total success' New Yorker
'Notable addition to the literature of unorthodox travel … tough, extrovert, humorous and immensely literate' Times Literary Supplement
'”A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” established him as a traveler who not only journeyed fruitfully but had the ability to bring his readers with him' William Trevor, Guardian
'I still think the last few sentences of “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” the funniest ending to any book I have read' Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Times
'The book that made [Newby's] reputation … typically ironic in its understatement' Observer
'Newby is easily the best of the bunch' Sunday Times
'All the lyricism, and spirit of adventure and discovery [in] Newby's work' The Times
'As good as its hype' Wanderlust--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
This 50th anniversary edition of one of our greatest travel classics includes never-before-seen photographs and a newly commissioned epilogue from Eric Newby’s travelling companion, Hugh Carless --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Luckily I managed to find a replacement in a second hand book shop.
So glad its in print again,now I can lend my copy without risk of being unable to replace it if it strays..
Most people will go through life never experiencing an adventure of this magnitude but for Eric Newby this is just one of several. Newby's other books include "Love and War in the Appennines" and "The Last Grain Race" both of which I thought were excellent.
"Short Walk..." is enjoyable because it's very down-to-earth. They go and climb this mountain in the middle of nowhere just because it's there. They don't do it for fame or fortune, the two of them just simply have a yearning for adventure. This whole amateurishness of the escapade makes it a delight to read... I loved it and would highly recommend it.
Eric Newby was working in the fashion industry for some years before the journey and the opening chapter covers some of his time here.
As with other parts of the book, this can be a little confusing. Mr Newby also neglects to mention his time in the SBS and his earlier endeavours before and during the 2nd world war.
This book worked well on 2 levels for me -
Firstly, a charming travelogue chronicling the adventures and mishaps of 2 supposedly entirely inexperienced climbers going from a 2 day crash course in the Welsh mountains to the Hindu Kush in the space of weeks.
Bear in mind this lies in Afghanistan - "Kafiristan" - or Nuristan - is a region of that country rather than a country in its own right.
Secondly, many of the places mentioned on the way to the mountains are also mentioned in Rory Stewart's excellent book - "The Places In Between". In this book, Mr Stewart describes his walk across the mountains of Afghanistan in 2002.
The differences (or lack thereof) in the near half century gap are fascinating.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in either travel or the current situation in this region. On one level it is a simple and often funny story, on another an insight into a culture and way of life which must surely be living on borrowed time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A bit disappointed. Having seen mention (with glowing reviews) of this book over a number of years it was a bit of an anticlimax when I actually read it.Published 2 months ago by Brian Ormerod
A wonderful, joyful and slightly nerve shredding read about two woefully inexperienced climbers. Full of charm, wit and bravado.Published 3 months ago by Matthew Field
As Auberon Waugh writes in his 1959 Preface:
Dear reader if you have any softness left for the idiosyncrasies of our rough island race, fall to and enjoy this characteristic... Read more
This is rather a historical document, with some quite colonial attitudes, but this aside, the writing is sharp and humorous and really conveys the difficulties that the two men... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Miriana Ponte
A very good book if you share the young Eric Newby's view of the world. I enjoyed it.Published 7 months ago by boz
This is an excellent book, written with utter self-deprecation, great good humour and honesty,yet telling the story of great achievement. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Anne Elizabeth Michie
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