Book Reviews of The Places in Between

The Places in Between
The Places in Between
Author: Rory Stewart
ISBN-13: 9780156031561
ISBN-10: 0156031566
Publication Date: 5/8/2006
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 85

3.4 stars, based on 85 ratings
Publisher: Harvest Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

14 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Places in Between on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Top marks in the sub-sub-genre of books about walking long distances. In the space of a footnote, Stewart captures the inherent weakness (despite his sympathies) with international development and highlights one way in which such efforts can learn from the colonialist experience. It's an incisive and smart book.

Now, I'd lock my kid up if he suggested walking across Afghanistan (and India and Iraq), but this book explores the beauty of the region and its historic artefacts in a wholly compelling way; notes the distinctions between tribal and regional populations; penetrates the myth of superior Muslim hospitality; oh, and it's a terrific story about a man and his dog.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 132 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
In a personable and unassuming style, the author talks about the people and The Places in Between he got to know as he walked across Afghanistan from Herat to Kabul in 2002, very shortly after the fall of the Taliban, following the central route across the mountains in winter taken by Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor. The human detail nicely complements the war stories that are all many of us knew about the area and makes the place names real.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A fascinating account of a young Scotsman's courageous adventure in walking across Afghanistan a mere ten days after the Taliban had departed. This was the last segment of his larger project of walking across most of the Middle East. It is well written and full of interesting description and observation of a truly alien part of the world. I passed my copy on to someone else to read as soon I had finished it.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 64 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A spell binding account of Afghanistan after 9-11 but before the US invasion. This is the true tale of one Scotsman's WALK across the entire country,from Herat to Kabul, during winter, sleeping where ever he was welcome. 90% of Afghans live in tribal villages, and this book is a real eye opener.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Possibly my best book of the year. Maybe not the best-written, in
terms of literature, but definitely the one I've recommended, and
given to, the most people.
Rory Stewart's account of his decision to walk, solo, across
Afghanistan, in 2002, shortly after the Taliban were deposed. In the
course of the book, he never talks about his qualifications to do this
or his personal history (which does come across as humility), but it
also makes the venture seem perhaps even more foolhardy than some
people might consider it. But whether one considers the venture brave
or reckless, it was definitely not safe. However, Stewart survived to
tell the tale - and it is one, especially considering our country's
entanglement with Afghanistan, that everyone should read. Through his
interactions and experiences with the modern people of Afghanistan, as
well as his direct and interesting talent for bringing in historical
context, Stewart really enables an understanding of a country and its
people that news reports do not.
Stewart has much more empathy for these people and their culture than
many readers will: after his trek, he started the Turquoise Mountain
Foundation, which aims to renew Afghani culture by encouraging
traditional arts and architecture, many of which are in danger of
being lost. Although he deplores the ignorance and hatred which are so
prevalent throughout the country, he sees these aspects as a tragedy
to be overcome. Looking past these, he truly illuminates a culture of
nearly incomprehensible foreign-ness.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 213 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really struggled to get through this book. Very interesting idea and some parts of the book are fantastic but it also drags a lot.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fascinating look at Afghanistan in 2002.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really liked this book. It beautifully describes Afghanistan and helped me understand their culture.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this lively journey through Afghanistan. Mr. Stewart is both discriptive and empathetic.
reviewed The Places in Between on
Helpful Score: 1
I liked this book very much. Gives you an insight into afghan culture in 2002 while walking through remote villages.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
a bit difficult to get into, but fascinating.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 774 more book reviews
Possibly my best book of the year. Maybe not the best-written, in
terms of literature, but definitely the one I've recommended, and
given to, the most people.
Rory Stewart's account of his decision to walk, solo, across
Afghanistan, in 2002, shortly after the Taliban were deposed. In the
course of the book, he never talks about his qualifications to do this
or his personal history (which does come across as humility), but it
also makes the venture seem perhaps even more foolhardy than some
people might consider it. But whether one considers the venture brave
or reckless, it was definitely not safe. However, Stewart survived to
tell the tale - and it is one, especially considering our country's
entanglement with Afghanistan, that everyone should read. Through his
interactions and experiences with the modern people of Afghanistan, as
well as his direct and interesting talent for bringing in historical
context, Stewart really enables an understanding of a country and its
people that news reports do not.
Stewart has much more empathy for these people and their culture than
many readers will: after his trek, he started the Turquoise Mountain
Foundation, which aims to renew Afghani culture by encouraging
traditional arts and architecture, many of which are in danger of
being lost. Although he deplores the ignorance and hatred which are so
prevalent throughout the country, he sees these aspects as a tragedy
to be overcome. Looking past these, he truly illuminates a culture of
nearly incomprehensible foreign-ness.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 35 more book reviews
In addition to detailing his walk across Afghanistan, the author also describes the history of the region, which is slowly vanishing due to years of wars and the remoteness of the location. It was a highly interesting and unbiased look at the culture of the country experienced first hand.
reviewed The Places in Between on + 31 more book reviews
Very good account of life for th average afghan village dweller told as author walks across afghanistan.