THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush is a frank and funny account of Eric Newby’s exploration of the Hindu Kush, a remote mountainous area in Afghanistan, where they presumably (with only four days mountaineering experience in Wales) made the first ascent of the 20,000 foot peak of Mir Samir. Newby, bored with his life working in fashion in London, impulsively decided to get away asking his friend Hugh Carless to adventure to a region where no Englishman had gone for over fifty years. They first stopped in Istanbul and then traveled by car across Turkey and Persia, before making their way into Afghanistan. Newby isn’t a bragger; his understated description of their journey is hilarious as the two travelers were completely unprepared, joking and grumbling along the way. The book, published in 1958, is still very readable today and rightfully considered one of the classics of travel writing.
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OTHER A5 RECOMMENDED TRAVEL BOOKS - ERIC NEWBY
Eric Newby was an English travel writer, known best for A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (1999) and The Last Grain Race (1956), a story of his apprenticeship on board a sailing ship in a race from Australia to Europe. He served in World War II, earning a Military Cross. He was captured in Italy, where he later escaped, helped by a Slovenian woman who later became his wife, experiences that were described in perhaps his best book, Love and War in the Apennines. Click here to learn more about Eric Newby.
GREAT QUOTES FROM A SHORT WALK IN THE HINDU KUSH
“I was as apprehensive as he was about our appalling condition. It may have been something to do with the altitude but we were finding it almost impossible to keep awake. At the recital, like the rest of the audience, we had both slept solidly through the entire performance. I had woken up with my head nestling at the bosom of a jolly female Turk to find her husband glowering at me; there are other dangers in Afghanistan besides tribal warfare.”
“I was heavily involved on all fronts: with mountaineering outfitters, who oddly enough never fathomed the depths of my ignorance; possibly because they couldn’t conceive of anyone acquiring such a collection of equipment without knowing how to use it…”
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MAP OF MIR SAMIR IN THE HINDU KUSH