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afghanistan

The Places In Between
by Rory Stewart

Starting at Herat and ending in Kabul, Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan in 2002 just after the Taliban departed. Of course most of us won’t travel to Afghanistan anytime soon, but this journey is wondrous and you will feel as though you have been to this amazing land, and met the people Stewart interacted with along the way. Herdsmen, villagers, foreign workers, strongmen, and soldiers, among others, all have stories to tell. The difficult terrain, the weather, the dog he names Babur after an ancient emperor, all play a part. If you enjoy traveling along with a good storyteller, you will find this book hard to put down.

medallion

“… a striding, glorious book. But it’s more than great journalism. It’s a great travel narrative.”
– Tom Bissell, The New York Times Sunday Book Review

“A splendid tale that is by turns wryly humorous, intensely observant, and humanely unsentimental.” – The Christian Science Monitor

“Herat had been overcast and cold, but here the day was warm. The air was very clean and the desert floor pristine. I looked along the gentle lines of the shop fronts. The clear light was absorbed in the baked mud of the walls. I was pleased to be in this place. But these things were also signs of poverty. There would have been more cement and plastic in this bazaar thirty years ago, before the war. Even this desert was newit had appeared out of the fields in the recent drought. I wandered down the womanless street, listening to the rich road of the unemployed mullahs and the illiterate gunmen discussing cousin-marriage. No one was buying anything; everything, it seemed, was bartered or given.” – The Places in Between, Mariner Books, 2006 edition.