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A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (1958)

by Eric Newby

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1722412,279 (3.85)68
When Eric Newby, fashion industry worker and inexperienced hill walker, decided after 10 years in haute couture he needed a change he took 4 days training in Wales then walked the Hindu Kush. This is his account of an entertaining time in the hills
Recently added byLouise65, qndeng2, KatrinaMorrison, private library, darianb21, SturmyFamily, Jaisell, WP75, petermanis, Courtney_Lowe
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» See also 68 mentions

English (22)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Newby had been recommended to me by my brother's girlfriend, years ago, when I was paying them a visit and had taken to perusing their bookcase. It took me a while to get around to reading his work myself - was I put off by the name Eric? Perhaps, but that's unfair - and I'm very glad now of the recommendation.

One thing that struck me here, as it has done elsewhere, is the travel writer's perfect recall. Newby is able to report long, fact-laden sentences, directly quoted by people who I doubt were speaking English at the time. It's something I remember being the case with Theroux as well. I can't do it - I end up fabricating something along the way. Likewise with his descriptions of the natural geography and geology of the places he sees - where I might talk of a massive rock, Newby is able to go on for two or three pages at a time, and yet it works so well. I suppose that is what separates the professionals (Newby et al) from the dilettantes (yours truly). ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jan 26, 2020 |
Funny but prejudiced, this is a fairly entertaining story about one of those nutty British guys who gets a crazy idea.
He decides to walk through some of the roughest terrain in the world, in Afghanistan. His attitude toward difficulties is great, but his attitude toward the people who lived there was...condescending.
This book was just okay, and the ending was terribly rushed. Not really recommended. ( )
  bohemima | Aug 5, 2018 |
Fascinating account of trekking in NE Afghanistan in the mid-1950sny two Brits. Particularly interesting in the context of current geo-political and environmental condtions. For example, text and maps indicate multiple glaciers surrounding the peak they attempt to climb. Following their travels via Google Earth, it looks like only one glacier remains. ( )
  Grace.Van.Moer | Sep 25, 2017 |
Classic travel/adventure literature. Newby captures the whole ethos of the British amateur traveller of previous generations, the casual can-do determination alongside the equally casual planning and preparation. His wry, self-deprecating humour is the perfect vehicle to capture the curious mixture of naivety, modesty and self-assurance bordering on arrogance of the travellers, but also gives an insight into the places and people of the Hindu Kush. 9 September 2016 ( )
  alanca | Sep 28, 2016 |
A surprisingly hilarious tale of two spectacularly unprepared Englishmen hiking into the Hindu Kush region. All sorts of hijinks ensue, of course. ( )
  JBD1 | Feb 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
This classic trek from 1958 sees him blunder through the Near East and into Afghanisatn, through a rugged land of dangers and marvels where "we shoot people without permission" (plus ça change). In a gloriously improbable finale, he runs into Wilfred Thesiger himself. The epic voyager meets his lighter-hearted heir – but Newby, for all comic gift, never loses for one dusty mountain mile his own"capacity for wonderment"
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Newby, EricAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carless, HughEpiloguesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, Richard E.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Véron, MarianneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waugh, EvelynPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'Il faudrait une expedition bien organisee et pourvue de moyens materiels puissants pour tenter l'etude de cette region de haute montagne dont les rares cols sont a plus de 5000 metres d'altitude.'
L'Hindou Kouch et le Kaboulistan.

Raymond Furon
Dedication
This book is dedicated to Hugh Carless of Her Majesty's Foreign Service, without whose determination, it must be obvious to anyone who reads it, this journey could never have been made.
First words
With all the lights on and the door shut to protect us from the hellish draught that blew up the backstairs, the fitting-room was like an oven with mirrors.
Quotations
CAN YOU TRAVEL NURISTAN JUNE?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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When Eric Newby, fashion industry worker and inexperienced hill walker, decided after 10 years in haute couture he needed a change he took 4 days training in Wales then walked the Hindu Kush. This is his account of an entertaining time in the hills

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