A keen traveller, I love to broaden my knowledge and read about other cultures and countries, regardless of whether I have yet visited them. I spotted Jason Elliot's book some months ago, and added it to my "wish list" for Christmas. But then the tragic events of September 11 came to pass and, knowing only a little about Afghanistan, I decided to read the book now rather than wait. It goes without saying that all travel writing is subjective; after all, it's about someone else's journey into other lands and cultures, and you get to learn about it through their eyes and words. That aside, I found Jason Elliot's book wonderfully insightful, into the people of Afghanistan, aspects of their life and religion, the landscape of their country, the country's history, and the way that it's been torn apart by invasion and war. And there were some very enlightening details - for example, it was the first time that I became aware of the oil-gas pipeline project that is now so obviously a key factor in political events at a high level. All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to have a better understanding of Afghanistan and its people.