Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Places in Between

Author: Rory Stewart

First line: On my last morning in Herat, I was reluctant to get out of bed.

Why you should read this book: It has been said of Rory Stewart that, while his proposals are often outrageous, he always follows through; therefore, after being thwarted by the Taliban in his first attempt to walk across Afghanistan, he sees the American invasion as an invitation to make good on his own promise to traverse the entire distance from Turkey to Bangladesh on foot. His knowledge of Islamic customs and Persian dialects eases a journey made harrowing by snow, dysentery, prejudice, and decades of war, and his determination and friendliness cantilever what seems an otherwise impossible sojourn. Rich in detailed observation, human interest, and astonishing realizations, this remarkable book shares a realistic view of ancient and modern Afghanistan, opening windows on a universe rarely glimpsed by outsiders and a character that quietly demonstrates the highest potential of humanity.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're Taliban and you're still pissed off.

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