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The Places In Between by Rory Stewart

The Places In Between (original 2004; edition 2009)

by Rory Stewart (Author)

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2,038675,201 (3.85)89
In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan--surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers' floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way he met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion--a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following. Through these encounters--by turns touching, confounding, surprising, and funny--Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map's countless places in between.--From publisher description.… (more)
Title:The Places In Between
Authors:Rory Stewart (Author)
Info:Picador (2009), Edition: New Edit/Cover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Places In Between by Rory Stewart (2004)

  1. 10
    A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby (Othemts)
  2. 00
    The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron (rakerman)
    rakerman: Both The Road to Oxiana and The Places In Between are very personal explorations of the people and the places encountered. Oxiana covers travels in Persia and Afghanistan in 1933, while The Places In Between is a walk across Afghanistan in 2002. Both writers are keen observers of a region little-known to most of the west.… (more)
  3. 00
    Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle by Dervla Murphy (Othemts)
  4. 00
    The Roads to Sata by Alan Booth (Othemts)
  5. 11
    Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson (cransell)
    cransell: Mortenson's story heads in a different direction than Stewart's, but the are both memoirs dealing with the same region and the affect their experiences had on them.

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Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
I found nothing in this book to commend it. The writing was disjointed and mediocre at best. The tale was filled with accounts of the author’s physical ailments, and really, a daily record of his bouts of diarrhea did nothing to make the book better. There was no sense of his connection with the people he met and I had to wonder why he even wanted to make this trip. By far the of his tale were the parts about the dog he acquired but failed to care for during his walk. If you want to read about a walk, skip this one and read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. ( )
  Maydacat | Jul 15, 2019 |
Graham borrowed my copy and didn't return it. Graham is a friend from the pub. He's retired and he often forgets many things. I bet he forgot he borrowed The Places In Between. The arrogance of the Westerner is on full display in this romp just after the NATO/Northern Alliance victory over the Taliban in 2001. Rory has a dog and the pair walk around. Rory finds many of the locals lazy or selfish. These same locals routinely give him food and shelter, this in the aftermath of an invasion. It is dumb luck that Rory wasn't stoned to death for being an insensitive ass. Rory's dog died, though to be clear he wasn't stoned by locals either. He later went to walk in Iraq. Poor Rory.

Graham, you may as well keep my copy. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
To much about him
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Amazing walk through Afghanistan, shortly after the advent of the Taliban. The descriptions were very engaging and portrayed the regional difficulties really well without drowning the narrative in politics. That Stewart survived to write the memoir is amazing. Reminiscent of the sheer doggedness and dedication to intrepid adventure and exploration that Burton embodied in his writing, 'Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Mecca'. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jul 3, 2017 |
Read this book for GeoCAT and because I thought it was a PBT 100 NF but I was wrong on that last point. This is the travel writing of Rory Stewart, a Scotsman (Born in Hong Kong, raised in Malaysia and Scotland). Wiki describes him "British academic, author, diplomat, documentary maker and Conservative politician presently serving as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)." In 2002, he walked across Afghanistan shortly after the Taliban were defeated. I enjoy travel writing. This is also a feat of endurance as walking across Afghanistan in the winter was an additional danger besides the fact that he walked across a country of many different tribes and peoples with varying loyalties alone and his dog Barbu he picked up along the way. Barbu was the first Mughal emperor who also walked across Afghanistan in the same route. I gained knowledge of the history of the area, the peoples, and the geography. I also learned about the author. Interesting man, born in 1973, has accomplished a lot in his life. ( )
  Kristelh | Feb 13, 2016 |
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The country is quite covered by darkness, so that people outside it cannot see anything in it; and no one dares go in for fear of the darkness.  Nevertheless men who live in the country round about say that they can sometimes hear the voices of men, and horses neighing, and cocks crowing, and thereby that some kind of folks live there, but they do not know what kind of folk they are.  - The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, c.1360, Chapter 28
This book is dedicated to the people of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal, who showed me the way, fed me, protected me, housed me and made this walk possible.  They were not all saints, though some of them were.  A number were greedy, idle, stupid, hypocritical, insensitive, mendacious, ignorant and cruel.  Some of them had robbed or killed others; many of them threatened me and begged from me.  But never in twenty-one months of travel did they attempt to kidnap or kill me.  I was alone and a stranger, walking in very remote areas; I represented a cluture that many of them hated and I was carrying enough money to save or at least transform their lives.  In more than five hundred village houses, I was indulged, fed, nursed, and protected by people poorer, hungrier, sicker and more vulnerable than myself.  Almost every group I met: Sunni Kurds, Shia Hazara, Punjabi Christians, Sikhs, Brahmins of Kedarnath, Garwhal Dalits and Newari Buddhists, gave me hospitality without any though of reward.  I owe this journey and my life to them.
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